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'Confused and lost': Memorial grows as friends mourn 18 year old killed in stabbing

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Zukifili ‘Zeko’ Abdul Hashim was just days away from graduating high school when he died from a stabbing just steps from his front door in London, Ont.

Three days after the 18-year-old student was killed at 1067 Southdale Rd. E., a memorial near his home continues to grow.

“We made this to keep Zeko’s memory alive,” said Taj Thompson, who lived in the same housing complex. “We put a lot of things that he liked here. I got a basketball and a lot of people that cared about him are signing it. He loved playing sports and he loved basketball.”

He also had recently developed a passion for boxing, and joined Boomerz Boxing Club.

“We've known each other since I was 12 or 13 years old,” said friend and schoolmate Younis Ali. “We went out together almost every day for lunch. After school we would go to our local park, hang out, and during the week he would come to the gym a lot. We would spar together, train together. He was going to fight with me this August and now I'll be fighting for him this August.”

Hashim was part of the Boomerz Cares Program, which helps troubled youth in poverty through boxing.

Zukifili ‘Zeko’ Abdul Hashim was a member of Boomerz Boxing Club in London, Ont. (Source: Submitted)

“He was a quiet, quiet kid and a hard worker,” said Marc Pagcaliwangan, co-owner of Boomerz. “He's always smiling and he would take, like, bus every day. It was like an hour bus ride, but he was very dedicated.”

Ali said his friend wanted to better himself.

“He wanted to make himself a better human,” said Ali. “Encourage other people to travel around doing fights, and go around sparring with people. Boxing meant a lot to him. Every day he would text me, ‘Yo, I'm at the gym today, are you coming?’ It is really sad.”

Hashim was a student at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School (SWLSS). Monday morning, the flags were lowered to half-mast and a letter was sent home to parents explaining there are supports available.

The flag at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School is at half-mast June 24, 2024, after student Zukifili ‘Zeko’ Abdul Hashim was killed on June 21, 2024 (Brent Lale/CTV News London)

“Whenever we have a traumatic event, what we do is we deploy our Traumatic Events Response Team (TERT),” said Dennis Wright, superintendent of student achievement responsible for safe schools and mental health at Thames Valley District School Board.

“We had several meetings over the weekend to plan to make sure that there's supports available to all students and staff in every school,” he said.

That includes not only SWLSS but also feeder schools where Hashim’s siblings attend.

London police have not confirmed how the teenager died, however they did tell CTV News they responded at about 10 p.m. Friday in relation to a disturbance in the area of Southdale Road and Milbank Drive.

“We located male with life threatening injuries,” said Const. David Easter of the London Police Service (LPS). “He was transported to hospital by paramedic services and later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at hospital.”

Two 17-year-old boys, both of London who cannot be named under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, have been jointly charged with second-degree murder.

Both remain in custody with upcoming court dates.

Hashim’s father, also named Abdul Hashim, said he is “confused and lost.”

A memorial, seen on June 24, 2024, continues to grow at 1067 Southdale Rd. E. in London, Ont. in memory of Zukifili ‘Zeko’ Abdul Hashim who was killed on June 21, 2024. (Brent Lale/CTV News London)

He told CTV News he collapsed multiple times when hearing the news, and although he tried to go in the ambulance to hospital, he was denied.

Police came to his door twenty minutes later to tell him “my son is dead.”

He also admitted this is not the first time his son was involved in dangerous activity.

“This is the second time this happened,” said Zeko’s father. “The last time some people attempted to murder him, but he made a narrow escape last time.”

London Police Major Crimes continues to investigate the death.

Back at his townhouse complex, Zeko’s friends sit around the memorial, trying to cope with the loss of their friend.

“It's been really tough, it's been really, really tough,” said Thompson.

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