When he was just six years old, Gilbert Nshimiyumukiza saw his parents executed in the Rwandan genocide.
“It resembles an execution, a senseless drug slaying,” Justice Michel Pennou said at the Montreal courthouse while ordering that Jermaine Gero, 44 — who shot the unarmed Rwandan refugee at almost point-blank range — serve at least 16 years of his life sentence before he is eligible for parole.
Nshimiyumukiza, arrived in Canada in 2009, at age 22, after having left Rwanda, where he lived through the genocide and witnessed his parents being gunned down in cold blood when he was just a child. His refugee claim was accepted and a year later he made plans to work as a nurse’s aide and to have three brothers join him in Montreal. In an article published by the Montreal Gazette in 2016, Nshimiyumukiza’s friends and relatives described how his positive outlook when he arrived in Canada gradually changed as he descended into what they assumed was drug abuse. A relative also said it appeared he had taken part in drug trafficking before he was killed.