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Jarvis Montaque's family urges gunman to 'man up'

Jarvis Montaque, 15, was shot to death on Jamestown Crescent on Feb. 17, 2013. TORONTO POLICE

The family of Jarvis Montaque, who was the third Toronto teen shot to death in a month, urged the gunman to surrender and asked their community to help police with their investigation.

“Man up to your responsibilities,” sister Tanasha Smith said.

At a news conference Tuesday,  she and sister Roshea Gunnis delivered that message to the gunman who killed their brother on Jamestown Crescent in Rexdale on the night of Feb. 17.

“We all have a chance at life, and Jarvis’s life was ended. He wasn’t given a chance,” Smith said. “But this person who committed this crime, may or may not have a chance … to change your life and to change the situation around you, and the people you associate with.

“Man up to your responsibilities.”

“Man up to what you’ve committed.”

Gunnis fought back tears while describing her brother at the Crime Stoppers news conference.

“I just wanted to let everybody out there know that my brother was an amazing person,” she said. “He didn’t deserve to be taken away from us.”

Gunnis said Jarvis moved to Canada from Jamaica two years ago with the dream of becoming a soldier, “to fight for Canada.”

The family’s message coincided with the launch of a new Crime Stoppers campaign called You Remain Anonymous, Crime Does Not. The campaign includes a series of new posters that will go up in all public areas in the Jamestown community, in the Martin Grove Road and Finch Avenue West area.

“We are … aware that there are many people who don’t feel comfortable coming forward and they want to remain anonymous,” Det. Darlene Ross, Toronto Crime Stoppers co-ordinator, said. “They want to do the right thing, but they want to remain anonymous. The Toronto Crime Stoppers Program are [sic] here for those people.”

Det.-Sgt. Gary Giroux, the lead investigator on Jarvis’s case, said he needs witnesses to come forward in order to put together a “marketable prosecution.” He said investigators have some strong leads, but need witnesses.

“Chief [Bill] Blair has indicated to me that I have all the investigative resources at my disposal to assist in finding the individual or individuals that are responsible for what happened to Jarvis,” Giroux said.

Smith said her family has tried to come up with some reason why someone would kill her brother.

“I can’t stress how much it brings comfort to the family to have answers as to why this happened,” she said. “Having to carry that burden would be heavy.”

A viewing, service and reception for Jarvis will be held on Thursday at the Abundant Life Assembly Church at 145 Dixon Rd. Smith said her family is hoping the community can help them raise the money to send Jarvis’s body back to Jamaica for burial.

Those wishing to donate can do so at TD Canada Trust, Transit # 02622, Branch # 004, Account # 78766661997.

Police continue to search for those responsible for the murder of 15-year-old Tyson Bailey. He was gunned down in an apartment building on Whiteside Place, near Dundas and River streets, on Jan. 18. St. Aubyn Rodney, also 15, was shot to death on Feb. 11 in an apartment on Turf Grassway, near Jane Street and Finch Avenue West. A 17-year-old boy is charged with manslaughter.

And Peel police continue to search for the person who murdered nine-year-old Kesean Williams on Jan.23. The boy was hit by a bullet as he watched television in his family’s Brampton home. The shot was fired from outside the house.