Tuesday, Toronto police said that eight teenage females who allegedly connected on social media have been charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of a 59-year-old man.
Investigators allege that the girls assaulted and stabbed the victim early Sunday morning in downtown Toronto. According to police, medical personnel transported the man to a hospital, where he died.
According to the police, the eight girls were apprehended near the scene of the crime. Three of the girls are 13, three are 14, and two are 16 years old.
Detective Sergeant Terry Browne of the Toronto Police Service Homicide Squad stated that they believe the females attempted to steal an alcoholic beverage from the victim.
“I’ve been in law enforcement for about 35 years, and you think you’ve seen everything,” Browne told The Associated Press. “Anyone who isn’t astonished to hear something like this has obviously given up and conceded that anything is possible in this world. The majority of the eight females are under the age of 16. If this is not scary and surprising to everyone, then simply we’re all in trouble.”
Browne reported that the same girls were involved in an altercation in the vicinity earlier in the evening. He declined to provide additional information.
“They were acquainted over social media. They hail from various city neighborhoods “Browne said. “We do not know how or why they met that evening, nor why they chose downtown Toronto as their destination. We do not know how long they have known one another. I would not call them a gang at this time.”
YouTube video of @TorontoPolice Homicide #68/2022 News Conference | D/Sgt Terry Browne | Tuesday, December 20, 2022 by Toronto Police Service.
Browne stated that they participated in a “swarming.” He refused to disclose whether it was videotaped. He stated that they will examine the Internet for similar attacks.
“Perhaps these eight young women were attempting to establish a name for themselves and get social notoriety,” he said.
The police believe they all conspired.
He stated, “They are all equally responsible.” When they opted to attack this man, there is no doubt in our minds that they were acting as a single entity with a swarming mob mentality.
He stated that a number of firearms were confiscated, but he declined to specify the types. He also stated that three of the girls had prior interactions with law enforcement.
“It’s strange that they all connected and made their way to downtown Toronto together. Their principal dwellings are dispersed “he said.
Browne stated that police met with the teens’ parents.
“I can assure you that it was a shock to learn that their children were part in such an event,” he said.
By law, Canadian officials cannot divulge the girls’ names since they are minors.
They have had their initial court appearance and are still detained. The next court date is December 29.
In September, according to Browne, the victim began residing in Toronto’s shelter system. He stated that unless they are able to contact some family members, they will not divulge his name.
“I would not necessarily call him homeless because he has a very supportive family in the vicinity. Possibly recently had some bad luck “he said.
Browne stated that anyone who spotted the group of kids that evening should notify police.
He stated that 20 or 30 years ago in Toronto, young teenage guys would swarm others and attempt to steal Dr. Martens boots or Air Jordan shoes, but that this practice has now died out.
“Has this occurred recently and we are unaware? Have people been posting this content online without our knowledge? “he said. It is something that we will attempt to determine.
According to government statistics, girls commit a minority of crimes in Canada, whereas boys are twice as likely to participate in aggressive activity.
The Toronto Police Service has reported that there have been 68 homicides this year, a 16% decrease from last year. In 2022, there have been 17 stabbing-related deaths in the city, a 13.3% rise over 2021.
The event occurred just days after a Toronto suburb resident fatally murdered five people in his condominium complex, including three board members.
AFP contributed to the creation of this report.