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Wife of man killed in Toronto mass shooting heard him dying on the phone |



The wife of a man killed in a mass shooting in Toronto says she heard him dying over the phone, but was unable to speak with him directly in his last moments.

Heather Parkes had been with Delroy George Parkes, 61, for 30 years and they were married for around 15 years.

Delroy was among five people shot outside of North Albion Collegiate Institute late Sunday. They were all taken to hospital and Delroy died. The other four victims were hospitalized.

Delroy’s family said he had just been hanging out with friends there after playing soccer, as he had done daily for the past several decades.

“Our life is taken away,” Heather told reporters Tuesday.

“Innocent people playing a game. For years upon years upon years. And then he was assassinated. Let’s face it: he was assassinated.”

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Delroy George Parkes, 61.

Delroy George Parkes, 61.

Handout / Toronto Police

After the shooting, Heather got a phone call, but didn’t get to speak with Delroy directly. Instead, Heather heard his last moments in the background.

“All I could hear in the background was him moaning and saying he’s not going to make it,” Heather said through tears.

“I never got to talk to him personally, but you could hear him in the background saying he wasn’t going to make it.”

Heather said his friend then picked up the phone and told her Delroy had been shot.

Heather rushed to area where the shooting happened, but by the time they got there, Delroy had been taken to the hospital.

Heather then went to the hospital, and that’s when she was told he had died.

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“You have no idea what you’ve done to us and what you’re putting us through,” Heather told the people who committed the shooting.

“Turn yourself in. Just turn yourself in.”

Heather Parkes and Delroy George Parkes.


Toronto police have said the victims were gathered after playing soccer earlier in the day, “really just socializing, enjoying the fresh air,” when two suspects pulled up in a dark pickup truck, got out and began firing.

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The suspects are still outstanding and police are appealing to the public for any information on the case.

A motive for the shooting is still unclear.

Supt. Ron Taverner said Monday there were also two other shootings that happened in Toronto’s west end over the weekend, both of which are believed to have been random, but investigators wouldn’t say if they believed the mass shooting was also a random act of violence.

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Police said Tuesday they could still not “advise if this was random or not,” but in an update Wednesday, said it’s not believed the victims and suspects knew each other.

Click to play video: 'Suspects outstanding after mass shooting in Toronto school parking lot'

Suspects outstanding after mass shooting in Toronto school parking lot

Police also said a vehicle was located in the area, but officers had not yet been able to confirm if it was connected to the shooting.

“You’re damn right I want justice,” Heather said.

“Our world was taken from us for no reason.”

Jaidyn Parkes, Delroy’s daughter, also spoke to reporters and said her father and her friends had been going to play soccer in the area for years.

She said they’re all immigrants from Jamaica or other places in the Caribbean and came to Canada to start a new life.

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“They found family and community and love with each other,” she said.

“They played soccer every day. They hosted barbecues, events. I have been going there since I was a kid. Everybody doesn’t understand. That we’re so nice. People would walk around the field and (they) would invite them to play soccer.”

She said they had heard gunshots in the neighbourhood in the past, but overall felt safe there.

Click to play video: '1 dead, 4 injured after shooting outside Toronto school'

1 dead, 4 injured after shooting outside Toronto school

Jaidyn said she was sleeping when she got the call about the shooting and she couldn’t believe it.

“I felt like I was in a dream,” she said.

“I felt like I was dying inside. I felt like my whole world just was gone. My dad was my world.”

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Jaidyn said her father was a family man who had a strong faith in God.

She said he had a strong passion for soccer and his favourite team was Arsenal. She said it was a dream of hers to save up money to bring him to England to watch them play. Now, she plans to eventually go by herself to watch them play in his honour.

Jaidyn said she is Delroy’s first child to graduate from university, with the ceremony to take place next week.

“And he won’t be able to see me, but I’m going to walk that stage and honour him and do it for my dad, because that’s what he would want,” she said.

Jaidyn said she doesn’t hold anger towards the people who committed the shooting because that’s not what her father would have wanted.

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“He’d want me to forgive the person,” she said.

“I hope they can turn their life around and live a fulfilling life to honour him. He wouldn’t want us to be angry or revengeful or hateful.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help cover funeral expenses.

Click to play video: '1 dead, 4 injured after Toronto shooting'

1 dead, 4 injured after Toronto shooting

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