Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Caledon shooting survivor whose parents died in attack slams cops for inaction

Toronto, Feb 15 (IANS) With 13 bullets pumped inside her body, the lone survivor of a shooting spree in Caledon last year who watched her parents die in front of her, wants swift justice and says police didn’t do their duty well.

Jagtar Singh Sidhu and Harbhajan Kaur, both in their 50s, were shot more than 20 times just before midnight on November 20 at their rental property along the Caledon-Brampton border.

While Sidhu died on the spot, Harbhajan succumbed to injuries in the hospital where she was rushed along with their daughter Jaspreet Kaur Sidhu.

Speaking to CBC News from her hospital bed, Jaspreet said a man broke into her family’s Caledon rental home and started shooting.

“My father was shot in front of me. I heard my mother’s last screams and after that (there was) complete silence. Only the noises of gunshots were there. I didn’t even get to meet them for the last time,” a choked Jaspreet told the news channel.

“I wasn’t able to do anything…. I called 911 as soon as I got my consciousness back. ‘Whole family shot’ this is what I was saying repeatedly,” she said.

Jaspreet and her brother Gurdit Singh had come to Canada as students a few years ago and sponsored the arrival of their parents who came to the country in July and were supposed to return to India in January this year.

The heartbroken children are seeking answers to several questions, which include a visit by an officer from Peel Regional Police’s Homicide and Missing Persons Bureau to meet his parents just four days before their murder.

Jaspreet said that almost two months into the tragic incident, the police still say “It’s under investigation” and have no concrete evidence.

Launching a homicide investigation soon after the incident, the Ontario Provincial Police said in a release that they believed “multiple suspects” were involved in the deaths that occurred in a possible case of mistaken identity.

“Whatever happened, the police didn’t do their duty well. Nobody contacted us, nobody gave any answers,” she said.

“Peel Police came before this happened at our house. My parents were home and they didn’t know English. So they contacted my brother’s friend to talk to the police.”

A spokesperson for Peel police had confirmed that the homicide bureau did connect with the family on November 16 about an undisclosed investigation.

“We have been sending multiple emails out more than 2000 emails have been sent to different authorities. Nobody replied. It’s just… it’s hard.”

Jaspreet said that the cops were there on the driveway for a long time after making inquiries and checking passports.

“If they had warned us we could have left right away,” Jaspreet said, adding that she is scared for her brother Gurdit’s life, who was not at home when the incident happened.

Thankfully he wasn’t home. We don’t know if we’re safe to go out. Every time my brother goes out, I am scared. Every night I call him multiple times. If any stranger comes to my room, I always get scared,” Jaspreet, who is on a long road to recovery from her physical and mental injuries, told CBC.

“It took more than 18-19 hours for my surgery and the doctors didn’t think I would survive. I still have to learn sitting, standing, walking. Some days are okay, some days are filled with pain, lots of pain, and panic attacks, she said.

Appearing frail, but with an iron resolve, Jaspreet said she won’t stop until justice is delivered.

“If this happened with us today, tomorrow it can happen with anyone else.”

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