Sammy Yatim shooting: Family, public want answers in 18-year-old's death

Sammy Yatim was killed Saturday when he was shot several times by Toronto police. Photo: CTV

As family and friends continue to mourn the death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim, who was shot as many as nine times by Toronto police while on a streetcar early Saturday, many continue to wonder why authorities used such deadly force.

CP24 reports that Yatim, a Syrian immigrant who had lived in Canada for about five years, was wielding a knife on a streetcar in downtown Toronto Saturday morning when he was shot.

Family members believe that there was likely a better way to handle and apprehend Yatim, rather than surrounding the streetcar at gunpoint. According to Gawker, Yatim pulled out a knife on the car and ordered everyone out.

"He was alone on the streetcar. This should be handled differently," family friend Joseph Nazar told CP24.

Toronto residents have been up in arms over the shooting since it happened. The Canadian Press reports that hundreds of protesters took to the streets Tuesday in protest of the officers' actions.

The city's chief of police, Bill Blair, told the Toronto Globe and Mail that his department that the officer who fired the shots had been suspended and that an investigation continued.