The family of the teenager who died after being attacked outside an Edmonton high school remembers him as a kind boy who enjoyed cooking.
Karanveer Sahota, called Karan by his family, was assaulted outside McNally High School on April 8, less than a month after his 16th birthday. Grade 10 student died a week later.
His cousins, Monica Binns and Shivleen Sidhu, say they don’t know why someone would attack the quiet boy who took care of his mother and little sister.
“This kind of thing doesn’t happen to good people like Karan,” Binns said.
Both she and Sidhu described being in a state of disbelief when they first heard the news that Sahota was in the hospital. Sidhu said he expected only minor injuries, adding that he hoped he would only stay in the hospital for a few days.
“Sometimes I still wake up in disbelief that Karan isn’t physically with us,” she said.
‘A jewel of a child’
Sidhu fondly traces her memories of Sahota as a child. She said she lived across the street and she would help her aunt get her diapers.
“I remember being with him every day, playing with him. I was so excited,” she said she was an older cousin.
As Sahota grew up, his cousins say he became an active child, always full of energy and affection.
To combat boredom and express creativity, Binns said Sahota has developed a passion for cooking.
He said he not only cooked for his family, but he also enjoyed cooking for his friends.
“And it’s a unique attribute because it’s not something that is generally found in our community,” Binns said.
Additionally, Binns said Sahota was eager to take care of his mother and younger sister. His mother would come home from work and Sahota would wash all the dishes, he said.
“He was a good boy. For example, he was just a jewel baby,” Binns said.
While many of Sahota’s friends had cars, Binns said it was okay to take the bus. He never asked his mother for money either, he said.
“All he wanted to do was relieve his mother’s burden,” Binns said. “And she couldn’t wait to grow up and help her.”
Identify the suspects
Both Sidhu and Binns spent time with Sahota in the hospital after he was attacked. They said they talked to him, held his hands and brushed his hair, just like they did when he was little.
“I know he was listening,” Binns said.
The women said they expected him to wake up one day and that they could ask what happened.
“And now we’ll never get the chance to do that,” Sidhu said.
Homicide investigators are now investigating the case. Edmonton Police Services say several young suspects have been identified.
For now, Sidhu says he hopes for justice, but also says “nothing will ever be enough” to make up for the loss of his cousin.
“Our family is completely destroyed,” Binn said. “How we start to heal, I don’t even know because it’s not just one person, it’s hundreds of people.”