Thursday, May 31, 2018

Matthew Staikos 37, Yorkville Toronto murder victim was popular and well respected

In police files, he’ll go down as homicide #38/2018.

Shot dead on the streets of a city he had come to love.

Matthew Staikos, 37, did not fit the profile. Didn’t have the temperament. Didn’t have the demons or a closet full of contradictions.

But here we are. The tech entrepreneur has been brutally murdered and friends, family and the country’s tech community are shocked, horrified, heartbroken and baffled.

Staikos — a man with looks, charm, brains and everything in between — was gunned down on Bay St. in the city’s tony Yorkville neighbourhood Monday night.

And there is not an iota of why.

Cops are mum on whether he was targeted but three bullets — one in the head, one in the back — say otherwise.

“Nothing, nada … None of this makes any sense at all,” a friend of Staikos and his brother George told the Toronto Sun.

Staikos and his older sibling started Torch Mobile in 2003 and then sold it to Research in Motion in 2009.

“They were two smart brothers who sold Torch to RIM when the company was reinventing itself,” the friend said. “They were well thought of. Smart, capable, honest, hard-working, well-liked guys.”

Guys who don’t get gunned down in the concrete jungle.

Back to why.

“People can’t understand it … he was good-looking, nice, girls loved him … everybody loved him,” a former RIM co-worker said. “Everyone’s flabbergasted.”

“No gambling, no drugs, he was soft spoken, just a really nice guy … maybe it was a case of mistaken identity,” the source said, adding, “nothing else makes any sense.”

His devastated family released a terse statement Wednesday afternoon.

“Our family is mourning the sudden loss of our beloved Matthew. We ask that you respect the privacy of our family as we cope with this tragedy,” they said.

Cops say the suspected triggerman is black, 5-foot-10 with a medium build. The killer fled in a silver or grey four-door Mercedes.

And he had all the earmarks of a pro — not some gangbanger unleashing lead and hitting nothing.

On Wednesday, detectives were tight-lipped as to motive and would not confirm whether the well-liked Staikos was targeted.

“We’re in the early stages and will probably be putting something out in a day or so,” Det. Omar Khan told the Sun.

Staikos — a graduate of the mechanical and computer engineering program at the University of Toronto — was most recently CEO of the messaging site Vleepo.

He grew up in the Belleville area where his father, Nick Staikos, is a well-known developer.

None of it part of the gumbo that earned his file the banal title: Homicide #38/2018.
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