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Police visited couple days before they were shot to death in Caledon. Their son wants to know why

It’s been more than a month since Gurdit Singh Sidhu’s parents were shot and killed at their family’s Caledon rental house.

The shooting, just before midnight on Nov. 20, left doors and walls in the property riddled with bullet holes. Jagtar Sidhu and Harbhajan Sidhu, both 57, were visiting Sidhu and his sister from India and planned to travel home in January.

Jagtar died at the scene and Harbhajan died in hospital. Both were shot more than 20 times, Sidhu said.  Instead of celebrating his father’s 58th birthday, he had to cremate him.

His sister was also shot 13 times and remains in hospital on life support.  He says he still hasn’t told her their parents are dead, and has since quit his job to look after her.

Sidhu says he’s left questioning why he ever sought a life in Canada, and why he ever had his parents visit.

“I felt like I should have never called them here,” he said. “I am just praying for my sister.”

Sidhu wants answers. He wants to know who did this and why. He also wants to know why an officer from Peel Regional Police’s Homicide and Missing Persons Bureau showed up to the property and spoke to his parents four days before their murder. 

A man
Gurdit Singh Sidhu is pictured in his home. Sidhu says he’s questioning why he came to Canada after his parents were shot and killed in Caledon. (Mark Bochsler/CBC)

When he first learned of the shooting, Sidhu says the police visit was one of his first thoughts. 

“That’s the question we are trying to ask the police. ‘Why were you here? Why was our family targeted? Why have you not informed us of anything?’ Because for sure they knew something was going to happen,” he said.

“We couldn’t even think these things could happen in Canada. That’s why I took citizenship here — [thinking it was] a safe country.”

Family friend witnessed shooting

Sukhwinder Singh is a friend of the family who lives in the basement of the house. He was at home during the shooting.

“It was one shot, then silence for one or two seconds. I thought it was a tire … who thinks someone is shooting in your house?” he said. “They were very loud, quick and fast … many shots in a couple of seconds.”

He says he rushed upstairs and saw a person running out the main door, jumped into a Ford F-150 that drove down Mayfield Road. 

There was someone else driving the vehicle, he said.

Harbhajan called out to him, saying in Punjabi that someone had come and shot them.

“I went to see her and there was blood everywhere,” he said. “Her clothes were wet with blood.”

Singh says he tried to wake Jagtar, but Sidhu’s father was already dead. 

Singh says he called 911, while Sidhu’s sister attempted  to call the police despite multiple gunshot wounds from her shoulders to her legs. 

He says he has turned to prayers and friends to overcome the trauma of being a witness to this incident.

Questions about police visit before fatal shooting

Sidhu’s parents were alone at home when Peel police visited the house, located near Mayfield and Airport roads, on Nov.16, and neither spoke English, Sidhu said.

They phoned a friend, Daman Preet Singh, who offered to translate the conversation.

A house
The rental home where Gurdit Singh Sidhu’s parents were shot and killed. Sidhu says police came by the house just days earlier, and he doesn’t understand why. (Mark Bochsler/CBC)

Daman told CBC Toronto that he asked the police officer for his badge number and proceeded to answer the officer’s questions about who was staying in the house since Gurdit Singh Sidhu moved in over a year ago.

“The police officer was telling me, ‘we are looking for somebody, that’s why we’re here to identify the people living here,'” said Daman.

After the shooting Daman said he was “in a trauma” and he hasn’t been sleeping.

“It blew my mind,”he said.

As the area is under the jurisdiction of Ontario Provincial Police — Sidhu says he doesn’t understand why Peel police would be asking questions.

Sidhu said his mother told him the police remained parked on the street for close to an hour, and that the police officer left his card, which included the badge number, with the family. CBC Toronto has seen the card.

CBC Toronto has also contacted Peel Regional Police via phone and email and asked why an officer visited the Caledon home just days before the shooting, whether there were safety concerns for the family and if the couple were possible targets. Police did not provide comments. 

A sign
A sign placed outside the Caledon home of the Sidhu family asks questions of the police. The family told CBC Toronto they are hoping the signs will raise awareness and help them get justice for their parents’ deaths. Their sister who was shot is pictured on the sign at the hospital, where she remains. (Mark Bochsler/CBC)

They’ve asked the police “several times” since the shooting about the visit and for answers about why the shooting occurred, Sidhu said.

“They are saying ‘we can’t say anything, we have no comments,'” he said. 

The family and friends have organized a vigil for the couple at Brampton City Hall on January 6 at 4 p.m.

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