HALIFAX — Community members in a Halifax suburb were in disbelief Wednesday after an eight-year-old boy known for his infectious smile was fatally shot while inside a vehicle with an adult.
Halifax police identified the child shot Tuesday afternoon in Dartmouth, N.S., as Lee-Marion Cain. A 26-year-old man who was with Lee-Marion was also shot and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Colter Simmonds, a cousin of the boy’s father, said Lee-Marion often went by his nickname “MarMar” in the community of North Preston, outside Halifax.
“I’m feeling shock and disbelief .... We’re family. We’re a close family,” Simmonds said in a telephone interview.
“When an 8-year-old gets shot, there has to be questions and there has to be answers. He was pure and innocent, had a beautiful smile and was smart and witty. It is a bright future taken away. It’s senseless," he added.
Halifax police are looking for two suspects connected to the shooting. They are described as two Black men driving a burgundy SUV, possibly a Chevrolet, with tinted windows.
Officers responded to a report of gunfire Tuesday at around 4 p.m. near the intersection of Windmill Road and Waddell Avenue in Dartmouth.
Const. John MacLeod told a news conference that shots were fired from one vehicle into another, hitting both Lee-Marion, who died after being transported to hospital, and the man. He said investigators do not believe it to be a random shooting.
"Yesterday's tragic incident has affected many in our community. We want the public to know that we're making every effort possible to further this investigation," MacLeod said. "Our thoughts are with the family during this tragic loss."
Quentrel Provo, a well known anti-violence advocate in the Halifax area, wrote on Twitter that the young boy was his cousin.
"... Every killing over the years has hurt me deeply, but this one has broken me in a way I’ve never thought possible," he wrote. "My little cousin 'Marmar' was ONLY 8 YEARS OLD, full of love & life."
No arrests have been made, and MacLeod asked anyone with information about the shooting to contact police as the investigation continues. He would not say what the connection was between the man who was injured and Lee-Marion.
Simmonds, who is the technical director of Basketball Nova Scotia, last saw the little boy in September, as they exchanged a handshake.
He said he’d occasionally see him in the community over by the basketball court. “He was full of potential and a very smart kid,” Simmonds said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 22, 2021.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
Danielle Edwards and Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press