It’s a murder that’s rattled the region and devastated the friends and family of a man brutally beaten to death in New Westminster last week.
On Dec. 17, Surrey’s Karim Meskine was near the 22nd Street SkyTrain station when he was approached by a 16-year-old looking to rob him.
Then the young thief savagely beat Meskine with a baseball bat, leaving him in a coma.
A young teen has been arrested for the attack.
Meskine, who was 18 at the time of the attack, lived through his 19th birthday last week in hospital and died on Friday, Dec. 20.
Friend Gilbert Moore was at Meskine’s bedside when he was taken off life support.
“His dad right now is looking for work and the son who was trying to help them is dead. They (the family) are in really bad shape right now,” Moore told CBC News.
The École Gabrielle Roy student is described by friends as quiet, serene and religious.
A Facebook RIP site set up in memory of Meskine indicates how deeply the wanton act of violence has affected the community.
“I didn’t know Karim but live in the area and wanted to send my heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends,” wrote Sarah Jones. “Such a tragedy and we know all those that he touched with his life will never be the same.”
And Chantal Scharfenberg said this: “There are truly no words… just aching and tears,” she wrote. “As a mother, I cannot imagine the sense of loss. Breathing must be nearly impossible… May his calm and gentle spirit rest in peace. And may his family find the strength in each other to heal.”
Sgt. Bari Emam, spokesperson for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said the killing was an incredible tragedy.
“Karim was the innocent victim of an unprovoked attack,” Emam told CBC News. “Karim’s family are devastated by this incident and are at a loss for words. This is one of the saddest cases I have been a part of all these years at IHIT.”
Meskine’s school friend Kevin Jacinto told CBC News he was a quiet, gentle soul, who loved to play soccer and had dreams of being a top player.
Perhaps the most memorable quality of Meskine was his ability to put those around him at ease.
“He was quiet, but just his presence, you could feel it, he could make the room a whole lot livelier, and just a happy atmosphere,” Jacinton said. “He could cheer you up just with a smile or just by looking at you, you know?”
A charge of second-degree murder has been laid against a 16-year-old attacker and there has been an application to try him as an adult.
A trust fund has been created at TD Canada Trust in Meskine’s name to help pay for funeral expenses.
The branch number is 9028 and the account number is 6083916. Email bank transfer: firstname.lastname@example.org