Thousands of people are expected to gather for the funeral of slain Toronto police Const. Andrew Hong, who was shot and killed in what investigators have deemed an ambush attack in Mississauga.
Toronto Police Service (TPS) confirmed last week that a funeral service would be held at noon on Wednesday at the Toronto Congress Centre. The public can observe the funeral procession as it travels from the Kane-Jarrett Funeral Home (8088 Yonge Street).
As many as 10,000 people are anticipated to attend the service in the north building of the congress centre as family, friends, and first responders gather to say goodbye to Const. Hong.
He is one of three people murdered in the shooting rampage, including Milton auto shop owner Shakeel Ashfar and one of his employees, Satwinder Singh, who died in hospital on September 17. Police said Singh, 28, was an international student from India working part-time at MK Auto Repairs at the time of the shooting.
Police identified the shooting suspect as 40-year-old Sean Petrie, who died in a shootout that same day in Hamilton.
Last week, CityNews obtained court documents indicating Petrie had a history of robbery, drug trafficking and weapon possession. Peel regional police later elaborated on Petrie’s past crimes, an extensive criminal record dating back 20 years with various convictions.
Investigators believe suspect targeted police officer to disarm him
While detectives are still investigating the motive, police believe Const. Hong was deliberately targeted by Petrie simply because of his uniform.
Another person suffered life-altering injuries at the exact location where Const. Hong was fatally shot. Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has taken over the case.
TPS announced that a book of condolences would be available to the public to sign at Traffic Services on Hanna Avenue in Liberty Village between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. until September 20.
The funeral service is not open to the public but will include other police services and emergency service personnel.
The motorcade on Wednesday is expected to begin at 9 a.m. and will shut down some of the city’s major arteries as it heads from north Toronto to Etobicoke.
Exact route details and timing are expected soon, with Mayor John Tory and Ontario Premier Doug Ford slated to make an appearance to pay their respects.
Hong was a 22-year veteran of the service and is survived by his wife and two children.
In a statement, Hong’s family said his absence has left a “gaping hole in the hearts of our family, the police family, and everyone who knew and loved Andrew.”
With files from Michael Ranger of CityNews