Toronto police arrest suspect in murder of Indian student

Police described the murder of Kartik Vasudev and 35-year-old Elijah Eleazar Mahepath two days later as ‘random acts of violence’
Undated image of 21-year-old Indian student Kartik Vasudev, who was shot on Thursday evening at the entrance of Sherbourne subway station, in Toronto, Canada. (PTI)
Undated image of 21-year-old Indian student Kartik Vasudev, who was shot on Thursday evening at the entrance of Sherbourne subway station, in Toronto, Canada. (PTI)
Published on Apr 13, 2022 02:08 PM IST
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Toronto police on Tuesday announced that it had arrested and charged one person with the murders of two people this month, including a student from India, in what was described as “random acts of violence”.

Richard Jonathan Edwin, a 39-year-old resident of Toronto, was taken into custody on Sunday but his identity was only revealed on Tuesday during a press conference held by Toronto police chief James Ramer.

Edwin, has been charged with first degree murder, and is accused of killing 21-year-old Kartik Vasudev on April 7 and 35-year-old Elijah Eleazar Mahepath two days later.

“Any death is tragic, but these men were completely innocent, and their murders were absolutely random acts of violence,” Ramer said.

The police believe Edwin may be killed more people as an “arsenal” of weapons was found at his apartment in the city, though these were legally procured.

“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.

Vasudev, was studying management at Seneca College in the city, was shot at approximately 5pm on April 7 when he was on his way to work.He was found shot near an entrance to the Sherbourne station of the Toronto Transit Corporation (TTC). An off-duty paramedic gave him medical treatment but Vasudev did not survive.

He “had sustained multiple gun shot wounds and was taken to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries,” police said, in a release at the time.

On April 9, at approximately 7pm, police said the accused allegedly approached the second victim, Mahepath who was walking along a street in downtown Toronto and “discharged multiple rounds striking the victim. Again, he fled the scene on foot”.

“There is also no information to suggest these attacks are anything but random acts of violence,” Ramer said to reporters.

India’s High Commissioner to Ottawa Ajay Bisaria tweeted on Monday that the post-mortem of the victim had been completed and his mortal remains “are expected to be repatriated to India this week”.

The Indo-Canadian community is holding a memorial service to honour Vasudev’s life at a funeral home and cremation centre in Toronto on Wednesday. Vasudev, originally from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, had only arrived in Canada in January this year and was a first-semester marketing management student at Seneca College.

The community had also organised a candle-light vigil in Vasudev’s memory at Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto at noon on Sunday.


    Anirudh Bhattacharya is a Toronto-based commentator on North American issues, and an author. He has also worked as a journalist in New Delhi and New York spanning print, television and digital media. He tweets as @anirudhb.

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