Man with gun ‘arsenal’ is arrested for ‘random’ fatal shooting of Indian student outside Toronto subway

  • Toronto Police arrested Richard Jonathan Edwin, 39, in connection to separate murders of an Indian student and a Toronto resident last week.
  • The police found and seized Edwin’s "arsenal" of legally owned firearms, including rifles, handguns and loaded magazines.
  • He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Indian international student Kartik Vasudev, 21, and Elijah Eleazar Mahepath, 35.
  • They are investigating Edwin's background and are not labeling the separate incidents as hate crimes at this time.
  • “It seems unlikely that these were just random crimes as police are saying,” Vasudev’s father Jitesh told The Indian Express. “The man murdered two people in a span of two days. There has to be a motive or a target and it does not come across as random.

Toronto Police arrested a suspect accused of two separate murders of an Indian student and a Toronto resident last week.

Richard Jonathan Edwin, 39, was arrested in a building by Bloor Street West and Spadina Avenue on Sunday evening. The police found and seized Edwin’s “arsenal” of legally owned firearms, including rifles, handguns and loaded magazines.

Toronto Police Chief James Ramer believes there could have been more casualties if Edwin was not caught. 

“Given that he had already killed two apparent strangers, as we allege, and that a cache of firearms was located in his residence, we can reasonably conclude that the quick work of our investigators has prevented a further loss of life,” Ramer said at a press conference on April 12. “My personal opinion is that there were going to be more victims. When? I don’t know, but he had an “arsenal” at home, and I quite frankly believe this might have been the first step. I think the intention was to continue.”

Kartik Vasudev, a 21-year-old Indian international student, was headed to work when he was shot eight times outside the Sherbourne subway station on April 7. He was pronounced dead shortly after being rushed to a hospital.

Elijah Eleazar Mahepath, 35, was also shot several times on the north side of Dundas Street East near George Street while he was out shopping for groceries on the evening of April 9. Mahepath died in a hospital hours later. 

While Vasudev’s family suspects the killing to be a hate crime, police are not labeling the separate incidents as such at this time. They are currently investigating Edwin’s background. Ramer described the murders as “absolutely random acts of violence.”

“We just don’t have that information,” Ramer said. “But certainly from what we saw, any interaction with the shooter and the victims was very, very quick and brief, and we can’t say with certainty whether in fact, he would have been able to see their ethnicity.”

Edwin was charged with with two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Vasudev and Mahepath. 

“It seems unlikely that these were just random crimes as police are saying,” Vasudev’s father Jitesh told The Indian Express. “The man murdered two people in a span of two days. There has to be a motive or a target and it does not come across as random. I hope there is further investigation into the case and it is not dismissed at this point.”

 

Featured Image via @kartik_vasudev (left), Toronto Police (right)

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