The last time Nancy Bokma saw the youngest of her three sons — her “baby” — he gave her a “bigger” hug than usual.
The heartbroken mom recalls speaking to the 41-year-old by phone and making plans to watch fireworks together on Canada Day.
Hours later, in the wee hours of July 1, 2016, Justin Bokma was gunned down along with Lefranc “Frank” Matthews, 41, inside an illegal after-hours club near College St. and Augusta Ave. in Kensington Market known as Retox.
“In my head I know he’s gone, but in my heart I can’t accept it,” Nancy said.
She and other family members of the victims were at Toronto Police Headquarters Wednesday as a $50,000 reward was announced for information leading to the arrests of three men sought for the double murder.
“We believe that they were there to sell drugs,” Homicide Det. Steve Henkel said of the wanted trio. “Somebody out there knows who these individuals are.”
He said the three men had been at Retox previously and it’s likely they continue to “ply their trade” at other booze cans in the city.
“We’ve had very little participation from the patrons,” Henkel said, adding there were 40 to 50 people in the club at the time and he hopes the reward will entice some of them “to come out of the shadows.”
The gunfire erupted shortly after 5 a.m. killing Bokma, a former professional skateboarder who was working as a bouncer and may have been trying to break up a fight.
Matthews, a father of two young kids who was working as the club’s manager, was also fatally shot in the melee.
“It’s been a nightmare,” Andy Bokma said of losing his son.
After travelling the world competing as a pro skater for more than a decade, he said Justin’s skate career ended and he had been working at the club for a “very short time.”
But the father and son were making plans for Justin to come work for him and eventually take over his mobile welding and industrial heating business.
“Our family is hurting,“ Andy said, urging anyone with information about those responsible to come forward.
“We have to get these people off the street,” he added.
Julia Matthews, 35, said “it’s frustrating” knowing her big brother’s killers remain on the loose.
“One bullet ruins so many lives for such a long time,” she said, recalling her brother was “very loving” and “wanted to make the world a better place.”
“I never imagined going through life without him,” Julia said. “It’s devastating.”
The first of the three men wanted for the murders is described as black, in his mid-to-late 20s, about 5-foot-9, with a skinny build and hair in thin braids to his shoulders.
The second is black, with a dark complexion, in his 30s, about 5-foot-6, with a skinny build, as well as a large head and teeth, some of which are crooked. His right arm and hand are smaller and skinnier. He has a nickname of “Mo“ or ”Moe.”
The third is black, with a medium complexion, in his early 20s to early 30s, about 5-foot-9, with a medium build and clean-shaven.
Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies