As the boys learned the basics of dribbling a basketball at Clarkson Community Center while others skated nearby, hundreds of people converged outside the facility Monday night to remind a Mississauga teenager whose life was cut short before he could perform his dream of becoming a boxer.
Riley Driver-Martin was remembered as the "cool kid" who "championed the boy" by his colleagues, relatives and supporters who gathered in a grim candlelight vigil to celebrate his life.
"He usually cared about everyone around him," said a friend of Riley, who loved to fish and cook a barbecue while the participants took turns in the memory of the young homicide victim and the mark he left in their lives. "Something like that should never have happened to someone like him."
Many placed flowers at the site of a growing memorial to the 14-year-old boy whose body was found dead Friday morning in Meadow Park near Southdown Rd. And Truscott Dr., not far from his home.
Many of the gifts sobbed, while others sought comfort by exchanging hugs.
"At the end of the day, I go home and have no more children," said Riley's father, C.J. Martin.
"I hope justice will be fulfilled. My son will not be forgotten.
He thanked his friends and neighbors for what he called an "absolutely incredible" spill of support.
"This is what a community should do when such a tragedy happens to people in the community," he told Star shortly after speaking to the audience about his son.
Mark Mahabir and his brother Nicholas Mahabir, both 20 and Mississauga, were arrested on charges of second-degree murder.
Martin said the tragedy robbed his son of a chance to enjoy the sport he loved.
"My son wanted to be a boxer and I really put him in boxing," Martin said.
For many relatives, doubts about what triggered Riley's untimely death still linger.
"What did he do so wrong for you to take the life of him?" Said his uncle, Joseph Medley.
The memorial was attended by Mayor Bonnie Crombie and several trustees of the school council.
Days after the murder, the Driver-Martin family is struggling to pay for the child's funeral, says a family friend.
"Riley's body was found alone and cold in the morning on December 7," wrote Tierra Santa in a GoFundMe post raising money for the family.
"All he knew, Riley said he was a charming young man with a heart of gold. Your presence is very much felt at the family table. "
See More Information:
Boy found dead in Mississauga on Friday morning identified as Riley Martin, 14
Two brothers accused of murdering 14-year-old boy Mississauga
Riley leaves his mother, a younger brother, and many friends and family who cared deeply about him, Santa added.
"No one can be prepared for the loss of a family member, but even more a child. Knowing that you will never be able to see, speak, hear or hold your child again is unimaginable, "wrote Santa. "No amount of money can relieve the pain that this family is feeling, but any amount of monetary support would help alleviate some of the financial stress."
Jason Miller is a Toronto-based news reporter. Arrive at the email: [email protected]