Maple Batalia, a 19-year-old Simon Fraser University student, was shot and killed in a parking garage early Wednesday morning. An outpouring of emotion across Canada followed her unexpected and mysterious death.
“On Wednesday Sept. 28, 2011 at 1:10 a.m., Surrey RCMP responded to several 911 calls regarding multiple shots fired in the area of the SFU Campus / Central City,” read a statement on the RCMP British Columbia’s website.
The victim was later identified as Maple Batalia.
SFU students immediately expressed outrage over her death and fear that such a violent act could occur so close to campus.
A spokesperson for the RCMP stated that while the shooting occured within metres of SFU’s campus, there was no reason to believe that other students were in danger.
The outpouring of grief from those who knew Batalia was immediate and almost constant since her death was announced on Wednesday. Many publicly expressed their sadness on a Facebook page entitled “RIP Maple Batalia.” As of Saturday, the group had over 10,000 members.
“You were one of my first friends when I first came to QE,” read a post by Natalia Anthonisz on the Facebook page.
“You made me feel so welcome, and I’m so thankful to have known you! I always looked forward to seeing you in art every day; you were such an amazing person and an incredible artist. I know you’re in a better place now. Rest in peace,” Anthonisz’s comment continued.
Comments also came from many who never knew Batalia personally, but were simply shocked by her death.
Batalia’s father recently said in a television interview that he would wear only black until his daughter’s murderer was found and justice was done.
As of Monday, Batalia’s killer has not been indentified. Batalia’s ex-boyfriend, Gurjinder “Gary” Dhaliwal, had been taken into cutsody on unrelated charges. He had reportedly been harassing the victim before her death.