'Could someone have saved him?': Questions linger for victim's mom as details of Sheridan Mall shooting emerge

Share on

As news broke that bullets sent terrified shoppers running for cover at a North York Mall last week, Althea McDonald

As news broke that bullets sent terrified shoppers running for cover at a North York Mall last week, Althea McDonald wondered if her son was one of those holed up inside for safety. 

She had no idea then that Jovane Clark, the 22-year-old who she'd had breakfast with that very morning, had been shot dead.

  • 'I'm a lost soul': Mother of Sheridan Mall shooting victim speaks out at vigil
  • Victim of 'very violent' Sheridan mall shooting targeted by four men: police

That morning, McDonald told CBC Toronto, Clark awoke early at his home in the Tandridge Crescent area. He did his laundry, spent time with his mother and would head to Sheridan Mall, located near Jane Street and Wilson Avenue, later on to pick something up.

"We had a wonderful day," McDonald recalled, still numb from the loss.

'I knew something was wrong'

When he didn't return as expected around 6 p.m., his mother thought he'd been caught up in the chaos at the mall.

At 7 p.m., there was still no sign. Phone calls to friends turn up no word of Clark, whose phone was off.

could-someone-have-saved-him-questions-linger-for-victims-mom-as-details-of-sheridan-mall-shooting-emerge photo 1

Police said Jovane Clarke, 22, died in a targeted shooting at Sheridan Mall on Aug. 31. (Toronto Police Service)

"I was looking through those windows and I knew something was wrong," McDonald said. 

Something was indeed very wrong. 

Police revealed Wednesday that a car followed Clark from his neighbourhood to the mall, where paramedics say he was shot in the head. The attack, say police, was targeted. 

Police believe a car was in the Tandridge area for "about an hour" before the homicide. That same car followed Clark to the mall and waited in the parking lot while he was inside, Carbone said.

When Clark returned to his car, he was approached by four men, and at least two started shooting. One of the men chased Clark into the mall and continued to fire at him.

"Multiple gunshots were fired in the parking lot and in the mall," Carbone said. "These are all signs of what can be described as an overkill."

An autopsy showed Clark's cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds. 

could-someone-have-saved-him-questions-linger-for-victims-mom-as-details-of-sheridan-mall-shooting-emerge photo 2

Police are asking for the public's help in identifying the dark, four-door sedan allegedly used by the suspects, and are hoping to obtain dashcam footage from anyone who was in the area on Aug. 31. (Toronto Police Service)

'Targeted' attack, but police don't know motive

Carbone said the brazen daylight shooting was a "targeted attack," but police still don't know the motive. 

What is known, says McDonald, is that Clark was running for his life. The security camera footage keeps playing itself in her mind. 

"In my head I'm thinking, he wants someone to help him," she said. "Could someone have saved him? Could someone have pulled him into a store?"

McDonald says she still has no idea why anyone would target her son, who she said was supposed to be heading off to college soon. 

On the day that he was shot, the plan was to come home to discuss college applications, she said. Clark's dream was to become a mechanical engineer.

"I'm going from here and going to start to plan my son's funeral when I should be planning his next move," McDonald told reporters over the weekend.

Police are asking for the public's help in identifying the dark, four-door sedan allegedly used by the suspects, and are hoping to obtain dashcam footage from anyone who was in the area on Aug. 31.

could-someone-have-saved-him-questions-linger-for-victims-mom-as-details-of-sheridan-mall-shooting-emerge photo 3

Police say four men approached Jovane Clark and at least two opened fire, chasing him into Sheridan Mall as horrified shoppers ran for cover. (Michael Charles Cole/CBC)

McDonald hopes for the same, saying she just wants someone to come forward and put an end to the questions.

"When the suspect is caught, I'm not going to feel better because my son is gone but I'll feel a little relief because i know this person is caught and put to justice."

For now, McDonald says, it's the presence of friends and family that is keeping her going.

That, and the memories she shared with Clark.

"You come into a room where Jovane is, he just lights up that room," she said, still speaking about him in present tense. "He always has a smile on his face."

    Share on
    Article 'Could someone have saved him?': Questions linger for victim's mom as details of Sheridan Mall shooting emerge compiled by www.cbc.ca