Friends devastated after 2 Nigerian men killed in Vaughan nightclub shooting

·4 min read
Chibueze Momah, 22, of Mississauga, left, and Tosin Amos-Arowoshegbe, 25, of Toronto, were shot and killed at a nightclub in Vaughan, Ont., early on Saturday. (Instagram - image credit)
Chibueze Momah, 22, of Mississauga, left, and Tosin Amos-Arowoshegbe, 25, of Toronto, were shot and killed at a nightclub in Vaughan, Ont., early on Saturday. (Instagram - image credit)

Friends of two men who were killed in what police believe was a targeted shooting in Vaughan, Ont., over the weekend say they are devastated.

Around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, officers responded to calls from a nightclub called the ATL Lounge near Highway 7 and Keele Street. Officers found two men and a woman suffering from gunshot wounds after an altercation at the club. Both men died at the scene. The woman is in stable condition in hospital. The suspect in the shooting remains at large.

On Monday afternoon, police identified the men who died as Tosin Amos-Arowoshegbe, 25, of Toronto and Chibueze Momah, 22, of Mississauga.

Investigators say they were security guards at the club and the woman, 20, was a patron.

Friends of the two men told CBC News they are from Nigeria.

Michael Egere says he was a mentor to Amos-Arowoshegbe in a Nigerian high school in 2006.

CBC
CBC

"That's how we became close, I met his family," he told CBC News from Ottawa, where he lives.

"In high school he was very soft, very sweet ... kind, always laughing and smiling. People really loved him."

Egere says he graduated in 2008 and did not see Amos-Arowoshegbe again until late last year when they met at a party in Canada. He learned then that Amos-Arowoshegbe was to complete post graduate studies last month and was planning to continue his education here.

'I was speechless for a long time'

Egere says he saw an article on Saturday about a shooting at a nightclub, but did not think much of it until his wife later told him that one of her friends said Egere knows one of the victims.

He says after his wife sent him the Instagram profile, "I saw the photo and I was just speechless for like five minutes. She kept asking me 'Are you OK?' I didn't want to talk. I couldn't say anything."

Egere says Amos-Arowoshegbe got his own apartment in Toronto two weeks ago and had invited him to stay there this coming weekend.

"I was like, there is no way this guy that I just hung out with three weeks ago is gone," he said.

"I just kept on looking at his photo. I broke down for a good 30 minutes, I just broke down."

He really made his parents very proud all through his years, so I just keep thinking about his parents. - Michael Egere

Egere says Amos-Arowoshegbe was the only son of his parents' three children, and he was also the only member of his family in Canada.

"He really made his parents very proud all through his years, so I just keep thinking about his parents," Egere said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Funmilayo Williams-Idahagbon, 25, says she became friends with Amos-Arowoshegbe when she was around 10.

"I've been friends with him pretty much since then," she told CBC News from Nigeria.

Williams-Idahagbon says after not seeing Amos-Arowoshegbe for five years, they met at a friend's party two weeks ago while she was in Canada for an exam.

She says it was Saturday evening in Nigeria when her brother got the news about his death.

"He literally just came to me and was like, 'Tosin is dead,'" she said through tears.

"Honestly, I thought it was a joke. I did not believe it because this is literally somebody that I had seen two weeks before."

CBC
CBC

Williams-Idahagbon says she will be visiting Canada again next month and she and Amos-Arowoshegbe were already making plans to meet.

"I even was planning to stay over with him at his place," she said.

She says the sad part is that Amos-Arowoshegbe introduced her to Chibueze Momah the last time she was in Canada.

"So when I heard about [Amos-Arowoshegbe's death], Eze was one of the people I had reached out to ... to find out if he was OK and just make sure that he was safe."

She got no response and a few hours later, she started seeing social media posts "about Eze saying, 'Rest in peace.'"

"That was just a lot to deal with … reaching out to somebody and finding out that they are dead."

CBC
CBC

A GoFundMe page set up to raise money for "Funeral Costs for Eze and Tosin" described both men as diligent workers who served as security guards for many lounges in Vaughan.

"They were loved and cherished by many in the community. Their story was only getting started as they had both recently graduated," the page reads.

The organizers says they hope to raise $50,000 for both families. So far, they've raised just over $19,000.

Homicide detectives say the suspect fled the scene before police got there. The man is in his 20s, with a thin build, wearing a white shirt, investigators say.

Police are appealing to any witnesses to come forward. They're also seeking any cellphone video or photographs from inside or outside the nightclub, video surveillance from the area or dashcam video.

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