A man that was fatally stabbed in a Rexdale mosque parking lot has been identified.
On Saturday at around 8:40 p.m., police said a man was working as a caretaker for the IMO Mosque at 65 Rexdale Blvd.
“The man was sitting in a chair outside the front doors controlling access to the mosque to comply with health regulations,” police said in a news release on Sunday. “[A] suspect approached the area and stabbed the man once.”
People in the area called 911 and police and paramedics came to the scene.
The stabbing victim was later pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
The victim has been identified by his family and police as 58-year-old Mohamed-Aslim Zafis of Toronto.
Investigators said the suspect fled the scene on foot. He is described as a male with a slim build, wearing a black hoodie with dark pants. CCTV video released by the police on Sunday shows a person walking along a road in the area.
CCTV video released by Toronto police
A statement from the National Council of Canadian Muslims indicated that the incident took place in the parking lot of a mosque and that the victim was a member of the congregation.
“There are no words for what happened to the member of this congregation. We are deeply saddened and shocked,” read the statement.
“We further encourage our community not to speculate on what happened as the investigation is ongoing.”
The building has closed its doors for now and the organization says it will reopen when the investigation is concluded and it is deemed safe for the congregation to return.
A follow-up statement advises that people affected by the killing can contact a mental health hotline or arrange a meeting with a spiritual counsellor.
This is Toronto’s 52nd homicide of 2020, police say.
In relation to the tragic incident that occurred, NCCM is sharing the following statement on behalf of the IMO. pic.twitter.com/fN8b1X7EnU
— NCCM (@nccm) September 13, 2020
With files from the Canadian Press