A day before they mark the anniversary of the murder of their 23-year-old son on Highway 410, Jason Ramkishun‘s parents are speaking out about their beloved son’s death.
Mala Ramkishun, along with her husband Ram Ramkishun, spoke with reporters outside their home Tuesday afternoon shortly after a news conference at Peel Regional Police headquarters. She said they are “begging” for anyone with information to come forward “so Jason can have justice.”
“We are still in deep sorrow and grief, pains — very unhappy,” Ram said.
“It’s very heartbreaking for us. Our son was so innocent — didn’t do anything,” Mala added.
On Nov. 13 before 1 a.m., Peel Regional Police said officers were called to the northbound lanes of Highway 410 near Courtney Park Drive in Mississauga. After emergency crews arrived, Jason was found in his vehicle in a ditch. Paramedics rushed him to hospital where he later died.
A week later, a 26-year-old man was driving northbound on Highway 410 near Steeles Avenue East. Police said unknown suspects began shooting at the man’s vehicle. The victim was hit by the gunfire and taken to hospital in serious, but non-life-threatening condition. Officers said the man, who is believed to have been the intended target of the first shooting, has since recovered from his injuries.
Police said it was later determined the same gun was used in connection to both incidents. The gun used was found in August in “an unrelated investigation.”
In an update on Tuesday, investigators announced a $25,000 reward has been authorized for anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting. Police said there are mechanisms in place to protect witnesses and officers added information can be reported anonymously through Crime Stoppers.
“This senseless act of this innocent young man on his way home from work while he was helping support his schooling is a tragic circumstance that we all are having difficulty rationalizing,” Chief Nish Duraiappah said during a news conference, calling the murder a case of mistaken identity.
“Illegal firearms continue to pose a threat to our community and also not just this geographic area, (but) across many borders.”
Jason was a Sheridan College student who worked as a security guard. He was driving a similar vehicle to the other man who was later shot on Highway 410.
Duraiappah said investigators are asking for people who may know something about the incidents to come forward in order to help.
“We can’t turn the dial on an investigation without people coming forward who knew the dynamics before the incident, post-incident, and the history leading up to the incident. Those are all critical pieces of information,” he said.
“It’s one thing to have an idea of who might have been responsible for something. It’s another thing for us to ensure that we get it through the court system in a water-tight way that’s ‘prosecutable’ because ultimately that’s the full justice that we can bring to the victim and the victim’s family.”
Meanwhile, Mala and Ram said they continue to be profoundly affected by Jason’s murder. She said she avoids driving on the highway. However, Ram — a truck driver — has to use the highway for work-related purposes.
“I drive all the time and I would be on the 410, passing that scene all the time, and many times I would call for my son and I would cry after,” he said.
The reminders of the shooting have been present even more recently. It wasn’t too long ago when they said they heard gunshots from their house. Another shooting occurred on Highway 410, but it was unrelated to the two incidents.
Mala said she endorsed a recent call by Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown and Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie to have more cameras along Highway 410 to assist police, an initiative also welcomed by Duraiappah.
“They need to do something there so they can get a clear view of what is going on,” Mala said.
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