By Gerald V. Paul
As Trinidad-born Zoltan Hyacinth, 23, was laid to rest on Tuesday, his mother, Michelle Hyacinth, poured her heart out for truth and justice, and stressed that there was no way her son shot himself.
Hyancinth was shot March 17 in the drive-through lane of a Burger King Restaurant near the corner of Keele and Wilson Streets, during an altercation with police.
He died on arrival at Sunnybrook hospital.
An investigation by the Ontario’s police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), into the fatal shooting could take a month or longer to complete, officials said.
According to the SIU, police officers were attempting to make an arrest at about 9 p.m. when “there was an interaction between police and the man. A short time later, the man sustained a gunshot wound.”
Zoltan, who had recently gone back to school, had planned to go to George Brown College to become a Chef.
“Whatever the outcome, at least I’ll get the truth in the end,” Michelle said as she revealed she only knew her son was killed until she called the number on an SIU card left in her door two days after the incident.
Michelle remembered he son narrowly escaped a bullet fired from a Toronto constable’s gun in 2007, during an altercation at Yorkdale Mall.
“He had a few run ins (with the law). It certainly wasn’t an extensive history,” said the family lawyer Alonzo Abbey.
Abbey, a long-time mentor to Zoltan, represented him in the civil lawsuit the young man launched in 2009, which was settled out of court under terms subject to a confidentiality agreement.
The suit stemmed from his altercation with police on Saturday, October 6, 2007, near Yorkdale mall.
A pensive Michelle, noted only two weeks ago they celebrated his 23rd birthday and now on Tuesday was the funeral. Time for truth and justice she said adamantly.