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'He enjoyed helping people': Family of man killed in condo shooting mourns

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Naveed Dada enjoyed helping people. The 59-year-old joined the board of his Toronto-area condominium so he could work with fellow residents to resolve their issues, and often played the role of peacemaker.
A photo of Naveed Dada, who died in a deadly condo shooting, is displayed on a candle at a vigil for the victims in Vaughan, Ont., on Wednesday Dec, 21, 2022. The relative of a man shot dead by a 73-year-old gunman in a condo building north of Toronto says loved ones are to gather for his funeral at a mosque Thursday afternoon. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Arlyn McAdorey

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Naveed Dada enjoyed helping people. 

The 59-year-old joined the board of his Toronto-area condominium so he could work with fellow residents to resolve their issues, and often played the role of peacemaker. 

Dada's kindness to his community members was highlighted by family and friends Thursday as a funeral was held for the man who was among five people killed in a shooting rampage at his condominium over the weekend. 

Dada, two other condo board members and their spouses were shot Sunday night by a 73-year-old man who had a lengthy dispute with the condo board. Police eventually tracked down and killed the gunman. 

Dada's nephew, who flew from Orlando to Ontario to arrange the funeral, said his whole family has been devastated by what happened.

"Everybody's in a state of shock," Tabraiz Dada, 48, told The Canadian Press in an interview. "He was a very social, outgoing person. He really enjoyed helping people. That was the reason he joined board."

Dozens of mourners gathered at a Mississauga, Ont., mosque to mourn Naveed Dada, many weeping as they prayed together before his casket. 

Imam Abdul Rahman, who was invited from Detroit by Dada's family to lead the funeral, said most of Dada's relatives could not attend as they lived in Pakistan, but many who knew the man had come together to remember their friend. 

"This is the beauty of humanity," Rahman said.

Rosalina Hutchinson, who used to live a few doors down from Dada and previously served on the condo board, wept while remembering him. 

"He was caring, gentle and always there to help everybody make peace," she said.

"Just a great soul, a great individual to deal with. An individual you can reach out to talk to him. He would listen. He would guide you."

"I'll miss him," she added.

Dada lived alone in his unit on the 16th floor of the building, his nephew said. His family learned of the tragedy after police reached out to Dada's friend in Pakistan, who informed relatives of what happened. 

Dada was born in Karachi and was the youngest of eight siblings, his family said. 

He helped his family run their leather and fur coat business before moving to the U.S. to study marketing in the 1980s, his nephew said. 

Dada then moved to Toronto and began his own leather business in 1990, his nephew said. He also worked 10 years for a security firm and then got his real estate licence.

Dada had been living in his condo for at least 10 years and was the only member of his family living in Canada, said his nephew. 

"Other than me and my family, everyone else lives in Pakistan," he said.

Dada was very close to his 92-year-old mother, who lives in Pakistan, and was also very close to his father, who died in 2005, his nephew said.

"We talked once a month on the phone and it was mostly about his father and mother," he said about his uncle.

"It will take some time for us to recover."

In addition to Dada, police have said Rita Camilleri and her husband, Vittorio Panza, and Russell Manock and his wife, Lorraine Manock, were also killed in the shooting. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 22, 2022.

Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press