“After the room broke out into chants of “black lives matter,” Kiden Jonathan rose from her seat, wailing and screaming.Jonathan was a longtime friend of Andrew Loku, the 45-year-old father of five shot dead by Toronto police Sunday. Both were natives of South Sudan, they spoke the same rare dialect, and came to Canada to escape the violence of their war-torn nation.“Andrew survived war [as a child soldier in South Sudan], and then had to be killed here,” Jonathan cried, after collapsing on the ground in the middle of a press conference Thursday to decry Loku’s death.” 
“The fatal shooting of Andrew Loku in Toronto on Sunday has prompted a response from community groups saying the man was not a threat and did not deserve to die.They are demanding an action plan to deal with police shootings of black people — especially those with mental health issues. One woman was so upset that she collapsed in tears during the news conference.Loku, 45, was a father of five who was wielding a hammer and apparently distressed at an apartment complex before he was shot by police. Robin Hicks witnessed the event and said things quickly escalated toward a shooting.” 
Andrew Loku was a kind, hardworking man who lived alone in Toronto. This man survived war as a child solider in South Sudan. He was trying to bring his wife and five children, who range in age from early to late teens, to Canada from South Sudan.
After years working odd jobs, Loku enrolled in George Brown College’s Construction Program in hopes of getting a better job, which would allow him to send more money back home to support his family. After visiting his family in June, Andrew graduated from George Brown.
Andrew’s life came to a tragic and premature end in the early hours of Sunday, July 5th when he was shot by police.
Our hearts go out to Andrew’s family and friends, and to the South Sudanese community.
Please help CMHA Toronto and Across Boundaries raise funds to help with the costs of Andrew’s funeral, and to provide support to his wife and five children in South Sudan.