'A jewel of a child': Family remembers teen who died after attack at Edmonton high school

·3 min read
Karanveer Sahota is remembered as gentle and kind by his cousins, Monica Binns and Shivleen Sidhu. (Courtesy of the Sahota Family - image credit)
Karanveer Sahota is remembered as gentle and kind by his cousins, Monica Binns and Shivleen Sidhu. (Courtesy of the Sahota Family - image credit)

The family of the teenage boy who died after he was assaulted outside an Edmonton high school are remembering him as a gentle boy who liked to cook.

Karanveer Sahota, called Karan by his family, was attacked outside McNally High School on April 8, less than a month after his 16th birthday. The Grade 10 student died a week later.

His cousins, Monica Binns and Shivleen Sidhu, say they don't know why anyone would attack the quiet boy who took care of his mother and little sister.

"This kind of stuff doesn't happen to good people like Karan," Binns said.

She and Sidhu both described being in a state of disbelief when they first heard the news that Sahota was in the hospital. Sidhu said she expected only minor injuries, adding she hoped he would only be in the hospital for a few days.

"I sometimes still wake up in disbelief that Karan is not physically with us," she said.

'A jewel of a child'

Sidhu looks back fondly on her memories of Sahota as a baby. She said she lived across the street from him and would help her aunt by getting diapers.

"I remember every day I would be with him, playing with him. I was so excited," she said of being a big cousin.

As Sahota grew older, his cousins say he became an active child, always full of energy and affection.

To combat boredom and express creativity, Binns said Sahota developed a passion for cooking.

She said he not only cooked for his family, but also enjoyed cooking for his friends.

"And it's a unique attribute because it's just not something you'd generally find in our community," Binns said.

Craig Ryan/CBC
Craig Ryan/CBC

On top of that, Binns said Sahota was eager to take care of his mother and younger sister. His mom would come home from work and Sahota would have washed all the dishes, she said.

"He was a good kid. Like, he just was just a jewel of a child," Binns said.

While many of Sahota's friends had cars, Binns said he was fine taking the bus. He never asked his mom for money either, she said.

"All he wanted to do was alleviate his mom's burden," Binns said. "And he just couldn't wait to grow up and to help her out."

Suspects identified

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 had when he was little.

"I know he was listening," Binns said.

The women said they expected him to wake up one day and they would be able to ask what had happened.

Courtesy of the Sahota Family
Courtesy of the Sahota Family

"And now we'll never get the chance to do that," Sidhu said.

Homicide detectives are now investigating the case. Edmonton Police Services say a number of youth suspects have been identified.

For now, Sidhu says she hopes for justice but also says "nothing will ever be enough" to make up for the loss of her cousin.

"Our family is completely destroyed," Binn said. "How we begin to heal, I don't even know because it's not just one person it's hundreds of people."

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