YORKVILLE, Canada – A Greek-Canadian CEO of a Toronto-based startup was shot to death in upscale Yorkville.
Matthew Staikos, 37, was found dead by emergency personnel responding to reports of gunshots at Bay St. and Yorkville Ave. on May 28, the Toronto Sun reported.
Toronto police received a call at around 11:30 p.m., after witnesses reported a shooting and a person lying on the sidewalk at the intersection of Bay St. and Yorkville Ave, according to The Star.
He’s the son of Nick Staikos, a Belleville-based home builder and developer, the Toronto Sun said. “Staikos was a graduate of the mechanical and computer engineering program at the University of Toronto. His Facebook page says he is the CEO of the Internet messaging site Vleepo.”
“Our family is mourning the sudden loss of our beloved Matthew,” the family said in a written statement. “We ask that you respect the privacy of our family as we cope with this tragedy.”
On Twitter, Staikos described himself as a tech junkie, entrepreneur, investor and traveller. According to his LinkedIn account, Staikos has been CEO of Vleepo Inc. since May 2015, with a software team based out of Greece.
Vleepo is described on its website as a “new messaging platform that is redefining what group chat should be.”
According to a bio on ellines.com, Staikos was born in 1980 and graduated from the Mechanical and Computer Engineering School of the University of Toronto. As an undergraduate, he and his brother George founded Torch Mobile in 2003, with subsidiaries in Beijing.
Six years later Torch Mobile was acquired by BlackBerry parent company Research in Motion, where Staikos became the technical director of web technologies for Blackberry, according to his LinkedIn. He left in July 2013.
“I never thought he’d leave us so quickly, so unjustly … I read and reread the news in Canadian media and I don’t want to accept that this wonderful man and friend will no longer be among us,” Greek Ambassador to Canada Dimitris Azemopoulos wrote in a Facebook post, the Star said.
“Sometimes it is impossible to express the anguish of our soul. One of these times is also for me tonight writing these lines for my friend Matthew,” he added.
The suspect is described as black, 5-foot-10 with a medium build. He fled the area in a vehicle described as a silver or grey four-door Mercedes.
Police said the suspect approached Staikos from behind and shot him dead, reportedly in the head, and left him lying there, where he died, The National Post said.
News reports indicated that witnesses heard between three and five shots, one of which went across the street — across two sidewalks and four lanes of traffic — before shattering the glass door of the furrier Herman Sellers Gough, and lodging in the wall near the desk where the staff sits.