17.10.2004 Diaspora News

Father recalls words of warning to son

By Toronto Star
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`You got to be very careful' ..... Wounded once, dies in second shooting Toronto, Canada -- Allan Asiamah knew in his gut it could happen again.

When his 22-year-old son, Harry Asare, was shot through both legs last month, Asiamah was worried they were trying to kill him.

They might return, he worried, to try again.

"When something of that nature happens, they follow you up," Asiamah told his recovering son. "You got to be very careful."

That follow-up came on Friday afternoon, Asiamah thinks, when three armed men barged into a North York apartment where Asare was with some friends. As soon as the gunmen were in the door, police said, they started shooting. And then they fled, down seven floors, before speeding off in a blue Oldsmobile.

This time, Asare took a bullet in the abdomen. A friend was shot in the foot. Asare managed to drag himself into the hallway. Neighbours called for an ambulance, but this time, Asare didn't survive.

"It's a very tough time," Asiamah said yesterday. "A very tough time."

Was it gang-related? Drugs? A fight over a girl? Asiamah has no idea. Every time he asked, his son refused to answer.

Harry Asare, it seems, was not the kind of guy who gave a lot of answers.

"I was still waiting for him to sit down and tell me what last month was really all about," his weeping girlfriend, Erica Matthews, 21, said yesterday. "I know there's more to it, but I guess I'll never really know."

Asare emigrated from Ghana with his parents 10 years ago, when he was 12.

Through his high school years, the family lived in the red-brick housing complex near Jane St. and Lawrence Ave., where families from the Caribbean, South Asia and Africa live side-by-side.

But most recently, Asare was living with a friend, in an apartment building nearby. That's where two men approached him late one night last month and fired a bullet through both his thighs, Asiamah said.

The wounds to his legs were beginning to heal and Matthews — who grew up with Asare and had been his girlfriend for six months — was helping him try to get a job. He had tweaked his resumé and she was handing it out, most recently at Leon's, the furniture chain.

He had also applied to the mechanics program at George Brown College. "We're still waiting to receive the responses back," Matthews said.

Last night, Asare's family — his parents and younger brother and sister — gathered in their seventh-floor apartment, down the hall from the apartment where Harry was killed. No funeral arrangements have been made yet.

Asare's wounded friend remains in hospital where he is recovering.

Homicide detectives ask anyone with information to call Detective Sergeant Gerry Cashman at (416) 808-7410.

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