Friends and family gather to remember Zaher 'Zack' Noureddine
Friends and family gathered Sunday to say their goodbyes to 25-year-old Zaher Noureddine who was killed on Wednesday in what police are calling a "brazen" robbery.
Mourners gathered in the front hall of an Ottawa funeral home to tell stories and share memories of the young journalist and artist. There were tears and hugs as Zaher's father, Hassan, greeted guests.
"I lost a big friend, a good friend," said Hassan Noureddine.
Noureddine was killed on Wednesday after what police are calling a "brazen robbery" and a violent attack. Just after midnight, Toronto Police said Zaher, known to friends as Zack, was attacked by three men. Police said Zaher appears to have been targeted, though they do not believe he had been followed. Zaher's family said he was coming home from work at the time of the attack.
"Even though he was a great brother, he was an even better friend. He made the impossible seem like it was nothing," Russell said Sunday at his brother's wake.
Zaher's family received the news shortly after 2:00 a.m. Wednesday, December 30. They said he died in hospital of severe head trauma.
Friends said Zaher will be remembered for his optimism, his dedication to his craft and his heart. He was an athlete, artist, entrepreneur and someone friends said was loved by everybody he met.
Though they are struggling to digest the trauma, Zaher's father said there is relief and comfort knowing his son's death helped save the lives of other people. Zaher signed up to be an organ donor less than two months before his death.
"A shock to us. A saddness to us, but a miracle to other people and this gave us some relief that some people are still living with his organs," Hassan said.
Zaher was born in Montreal, but was raised in Ottawa and attended both the University of Ottawa and Algonquin College. He moved to Toronto in 2014 to follow his dreams.
Toronto Police are still investigating and are actively looking for suspects. No arrests have been made.