Man arrested in shooting death of Indian student in Toronto

TORONTO Police on Tuesday announced the arrest of 39-year-old Richard Jonathan Edwin in the shooting deaths of 21-year-old Indian student Kartik Vasudev and 35-year-old Elijah Eleazar Mahepath.

On Thursday, April 7 at approximately 5 p.m., Toronto Police received multiple calls to a shooting at Sherbourne Subway Station. Vasudev was located outside the Glen Road entrance suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken to hospital where he died as result of his injuries.

Investigators allege that Edwin discharged a handgun striking the victim multiple times before fleeing the scene.

On Saturday, April 9 at approximately 7 p.m., it is further alleged that the accused approached the second victim, Mahepath, who was walking westbound on the north side of Dundas Street East near George Street. The accused discharged multiple rounds striking the victim. Again, he fled the scene on foot.

Police said that these murders are believed to be random attacks and the victims were not known to the accused or each other. Investigators are working to establish the full motive behind the attacks and these remain active investigations.

With the assistance of the Emergency Task Force, Edwin, of Toronto, was taken into custody on the evening of Sunday, April 10 without incident.

He has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. He appeared at College Park Courts on Monday, April 11.

Toronto Police Chief James Ramer expressed condolences to the families of the victims and reassured the public about their safety while asking them to remain vigilant at a news conference on April 12 at police headquarters.

“They’re the types of incidents that will understandably cause concern in our communities,” Ramer said. “While we appreciate that this news does nothing to ease the suffering of the victims and their families, particularly those now grieving death, I can report that the suspects for all of these incidents are now in police custody. It is my hope that this fact provides at least a sliver of closure for the families.”

Homicide Detective-Sergeant Terry Browne commended the “remarkable” work of the tactical officers who made the arrest without injury despite several loaded firearms being accessible to the suspect.

He said investigators want to learn more about Edwin.

“We’re doing a very deep dive on his background right now to find out who this person is, where he’s been, who he has been associating with,” Browne said. “With regards to contact with either one of these victims is that we have nothing to suggest he knew either one of these victims… It was what we describe as random. It was a chance meeting, a chance passing for reasons only known to the suspect these two people were victimized and now are dead.”

Chief Ramer believes that further violence was averted through Edwin’s arrest.

“Given that he had already killed two apparent strangers, as we allege, and that a cache of firearms was found at his residence we can reasonably conclude that the quick work of our investigators has prevented a further loss of life,” Ramer said. “My personal opinion is there was 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 just been the first step.”

Browne said the security video was crucial in solving this case.

“What we gleaned from the security video evidence alone provided us with great assistance in tracking our suspect from the area he resides to the area of the shooting and then back to his residence,” Browne said.

Anyone with information about the incidents or about Edwin’s background or past behaviour is asked to call Homicide at 416-808-7100 or Crime Stoppers Toronto anonymously at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or online at

Vasudev, who was a student of marketing management program at Seneca College, had arrived in Canada in January.

The Indian Consulate General tweeted on Friday: “We are shocked & distressed at the unfortunate killing of Indian student Kartik Vasudev in a shooting incident in Toronto yesterday. We are in touch with the family and will provide all possible assistance in early repatriation of mortal remains.”

In a statement, Seneca College said, “The Seneca community is saddened to hear of the tragic death of Kartik Vasudev, a first-semester Marketing Management student. Our thoughts are with Mr. Vasudev’s family, friends and classmates. Counselling support is being made available to students and employees.”

CBC reported that the victim’s father, Jitesh Vasudev, told them from India that the family is “heartbroken.” He said: “My son was polite, humble, a sweet child. Why was my son the target?”

He said his son arrived in Canada on January 5, after five years of planning his career. He was headed to his part-time job when he was shot.

“He was simply going to work,” he told CBC, wondering why anyone would shoot his son.

On Tuesday, his mother, Pooja Vasudev told the Toronto Star that her family was relieved to hear of an arrest within five days of her son’s death, but added that it couldn’t make up for the loss of her “innocent child.”

“I sent my son for studies, not for murder. He had dreams … how can we say Toronto is a safe city if, in the daytime, a man came and shot him like this?” she told the Star.

The family is calling for the “harshest punishment,” as her son represents all international students in Canada, who deserve safety, she said.