Victim fatally shot after North York crash remembered as 'compassionate' family man

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Construction workers with the paving company at the scene of a fatal shooting in North York are in shock and remembering their co-worker as a compassionate and kind family man.

Several workers identified Floreano Lopes as the victim of the deadly shooting to CTV News Toronto, saying they are saddened by the loss.

“Floreano is a person who is very compassionate; is happy to help everybody all the time,” said co-worker David Hernandez, who had known Lopes for five years.

Hernandez said Lopes has three children, including one who is young.

“I think that’s the hard part for everybody,” he said.

On Friday, Toronto police said a suspect was in a stolen black pick-up truck and was travelling eastbound on Steeles Avenue West near Alness Avenue at around 1:20 p.m. when it crashed into a white construction vehicle. Police said that the suspect had attempted to flee the scene after the crash, and several citizens intervened. 

One witness said that a group of construction workers approached the pickup. The witness said that there was some sort of interaction and the driver appeared to fire three shots at one of the construction workers before the others were able to overpower him.

CO-WORKER TRIES TO STOP LOPES’ BLEEDING

Hernandez said he and the other workers are feeling down, especially because of the way events unfolded.

Hernandez said after the shooting he went over to Lopes and saw him on the floor bleeding telling him he needed air.

“He started to lose his air because he had three shots in the leg,” he said, adding one of the shots was near his stomach.

He said he tried to help Lopes stay calm and hold his legs and stop the bleeding.

Police said Lopes was rushed to a trauma centre and later died.

“I’m in shock, disbelief, nothing has sunk in in yet,” said Bradley Baechler, Lopes’ friend for the past five years and ball hockey teammate.

“Flo was a awesome guy, a great guy. He was there for everybody. On and off the floor he was a gentle teddy bear,” he added. “He’s always been the guy to help people out.”

“He was a very involved father. You don’t get many of those who are always there for his kids and other people,” said Baechler.

Teammates tell CTV News Toronto there is a memorial service for Lopes Sunday at 6 p.m. on Steeles Avenue West near the scene of the shooting.

Police say a man was arrested at the scene and a firearm was recovered

The man, who police have identified as 37-year-old Jonathon Kozuch, has been charged with second-degree murder.

The investigation has been turned over to Toronto homicide detectives and they are asking anyone who has video of the incident or who may have witnessed events to contact 32 Division.