A vigil was held Sunday for the victims of serial killer Bruce McArthur, just two days after he was sentenced to life in prison.
McArthur will be 91 years old when he is eligible for parole after a judge sentenced him to eight counts of first-degree murder, to be served concurrently.
Family members and friends of the victims spoke of devastation, anger and personal struggles they had experienced as a result of the serial killer’s crimes in several victim impact statements during his sentencing.
Community members gathered at the Metropolitan Community Church to remember the victims, Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman, Majeed Kayhan, Dean Lisowick, Soroush Mahmudi, Skandaraj Navaratnam, Abdulbasir Faizi, and Kirushna Kanagaratnam.
Reverend Jeff Rock, a senior pastor at the church, told CityNews the heinous acts committed by McArthur have taken a large emotional toll on the community.
“The grief process isn’t a clean process. There is no right or wrong way to grieve,” Reverend Rocky said. “What this vigil is about is bringing people tog ether, whether they are in grief, whether they are angry, and creating a safe space for us to come together as a community and really start the healing process.”
He told the crowd gathered at the church that it’s time to “begin the journey of healing” adding “we will not let hate win.”
Reverend Rock added the vigil is about people of different culture and religions coming together to stand against homophobia.
Donations for the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention were also be accepted at the gathering.
CityNews reporter Tina Yazdani was at the vigil. See her tweets live from the event below:
With files from The Canadian Press