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8 Teen Girls Charged In Swarming Murder In Toronto

Eight teen girls have been charged in a swarming murder that took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. According to police reports the eight teen girls, three 13- year-olds, three 14-year-olds and two 16-year-olds, were apparently after a liquor bottle and when the victim stood up for his friend he would be brutally attacked ending in his death. Toronto police have charged the eight teen girls with second degree murder. Due to Canadian law regarding juveniles the longest sentence they can receive is a life sentence where parole eligibility is after seven years. Again due to Canadian laws the identity of the eight teen girls will not be made public

Toronto murders have been in the global news over the last few days with the last being a disgruntled condo owner who would shoot and kill five people before being shot dead by police. Of course to put this in perspective Toronto is the fourth largest city in North America behind Mexico City, New York City and Los Angeles. Toronto has had a total of 68 murders this year.

Swarming Murder In Toronto More News

An alleged “swarming” attack in Toronto started when the eight teen girls charged in the slaying tried to take a liquor bottle from the victim and his friend, the friend says.

That witness, who CBC Toronto has agreed not to name because they belong to a vulnerable community, said she was smoking a cigarette with the man outside a downtown shelter early Sunday when the group of teens approached them and attempted to take her alcohol. 

The 59-year-old victim, who police have not publicly identified, told the girls to leave the two of them alone, the woman said.

“He protected me,” she added.

That’s when the group of girls started to punch him repeatedly, she recalled. Frightened by the violence, she walked away while one of the girls followed her. She said she could see lots of blood.

“Bleeding, bleeding, bleeding. I didn’t know if they had a knife or what. I was just scared,” she said. “I think they stabbed his belly.”

She said she went into the shelter and brought him water afterwards. “I didn’t know he would die,” she said.

In an interview Wednesday, Toronto police Det.-Sgt. Terry Browne said investigators believe there was an attempted theft — “likely of a liquor bottle” — during the initial phase of the deadly encounter.

“I don’t want to expand on that because we don’t have all the moving parts right now. But we do believe that does form part of the narrative involved in this,” he said.

The attack happened around 12:15 a.m. ET near the corner of York Street and University Avenue, just steps from Union Station. The victim was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Browne, who has been a homicide detective for 19 years, called it a “shocking” killing and said it is unlike anything he’s investigated before.

“I can’t recall a situation where eight females have been involved in something like this.

At a news conference Tuesday, Browne said the victim was beaten and stabbed by the group, which included three 13- year-olds, three 14-year-olds and two 16-year-olds. All eight have been charged with second-degree murder. Their identities are protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act. 

Browne said police chose to charge all eight with second-degree murder because each girl “played a role” in the slaying.

“All eight were together. All eight were involved,” he said Wednesday. ” I won’t say what each one individually did, but all eight were together and participating in this event, which is disturbing.”

Police are operating under the assumption that the girls met on social media, Browne said, but it’s not yet clear how or why they ended up downtown late Saturday and into Sunday morning. They all live in different parts of the city, he said.

Three had had “prior contact” with police, he added. Investigators have no evidence that the victim was known to them, Browne said

Police have spoken to the parents of each of the teens, he told CBC Toronto.

“As you can probably imagine, everyone was shocked. Probably like getting hit by a Mack truck.”

The fatal swarming was preceded by an earlier incident involving the girls that Browne only described as “criminal activity.” Police arrested all eight when they responded to a third incident shortly after the swarming and “pieced together the dots” that the group had been involved in all three.

All of the teens appeared in court on the weekend, with further court appearances scheduled for Dec. 29.

Browne said police wouldn’t describe the girls as a gang at this point, but investigators are calling the incident a “swarming,” which he said normally involves selecting a target to victimize. Swarming was more prevalent in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Browne said, and “primarily involved young adolescent males finding themselves in conflict.”

As of Wednesday morning, police were still trying to contact the victim’s elderly parents, he said. Once that has been done, his identity will be released publicly.

Browne said the man had only recently entered into the city’s shelter system and that he had supportive extended family in the area.

“I wouldn’t necessarily call him homeless, just recently on some hard luck,” Browne said.

His death was the 68th homicide in Toronto in 2022. 

Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a statement that he is “deeply disturbed” by the details of the case.

“Everyone in our city deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. I am so saddened to know that a man has lost his life in this way,” he said.

“I am extremely troubled by the young age of those accused and by the number of people allegedly involved in this murder. My thoughts are with this man’s friends and all those who knew him as they mourn his loss,” he added.

Police are appealing for information from anyone who was in the area of the attack between about 10:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/swarming-homicide-toronto-teen-girls-witness-1.6693414

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