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System killed my son’

Article by: By VIVIAN SONG, TORONTO SUN
– Mother mourns death outside court where two accused of murder face hearing
Heartbroken mother Ety Shokrabie stroked the picture of her dead sone tenderly while lashing out angrily against the country that was supposed to protect her children.
“I came here from Iran to save my kids,” a teary Shokrabie said outside the Finch Ave. W. courthouse, where two accused killers of Sepehr “Danny” Rabti appeared on the first day of a preliminary hearing.
“I wanted to raise them here because I believed it was a nice country. If I knew the system was like this I would have stayed in my country.”
About 30 friends and family members gathered outside the courthouse yesterday among signs slamming what they called lax gun laws and a failing system.
Rabti, 25, was gunned down last December after he tried to calm down two men who stormed the North York car dealership where he worked. The pair were angry that a leased vehicle had been repossessed. As Rabti followed them out of the lot, he was gunned down, shot in the head and chest.
One of the accused was out on bail when Rabti was killed. Three weeks prior to the murder, the suspect was arrested at Yorkdale Mall for allegedly carrying a cocked and loaded .45-calibre semi-automatic handgun. He was set free two days later on a $10,000 bail.
“I came to Canada as a refugee,” Shobrakie said, her eyes filled with tears. “The system killed my son, not these two guys.”
Rabti’s uncle Rez Shekarabi also slammed the justice system for protecting the interests of criminals instead of victims and urged the community to take up the cause as their own.
“If people think this is not going to happen to them, they are living in the denial we lived in a year ago. Nobody’s safe,” he said.
The demonstration drew curious onlookers including another victim of gun violence in perhaps an equally high profile case.
“It’s not only the system, it’s us people,” said Tasha Whittaker, daughter of Leroy Whittaker who was gunned down last summer in his apartment.
Whittaker was on her way home from the YMCA when she saw the rally and stopped to talk about the cloak of silence that hampers police efforts as well.
Jodie Wheatle and Marcel Blackburn, both 20, face second-degree murder charges.