Up in Toronto, eight teens are accused of uniting forces in the name of stabbing a 59-year-old man to death.
The girls all range between 13 and 16 years old, and the incident went down shortly after midnight on Sunday, per a statement from the Toronto Police Service.
Authorities Believe The Teens Met On Social Media & ‘Come From Varying Parts Of The City’
During a press conference on Tuesday, Detective Sergeant Terry Browne went into further detail on the matter. Notably, he explained that the teens are believed to have been involved in a separate incident ahead of the stabbing.
“We have information to believe that this same group of 8 young women were involved in another altercation earlier before becoming involved in this altercation.”
Additionally, Browne noted that the group is comprised of three 13-year-olds, three 14-year-olds, and two 16-year-olds. However, it’s unclear why exactly they chose to link up that evening.
“These 8 individuals, from what we’ve gathered so far, met on social media. They come from varying parts of the city…We don’t know how or why they met on that evening or why the destination was Downtown Toronto. We don’t know how long they’ve been acquainted with each other, but I wouldn’t describe them as a gang at this point.”
He went on to share that three of the teens “had prior contact with law enforcement,” and he also described the nature of the attack as “swarming or swarming-type behavior.”
As for the 59-year-old man, he hasn’t been publicly identified, though authorities note that he’d been staying at a homeless shelter since late autumn.
A Witness Says The Stabbing Was Sparked By A Dispute Over Alcohol: ‘He Protected Me’
In a statement to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), an unidentified “friend” of the victim shared her side of the story.
She alleged that, while she and the 59-year-old were smoking a cigarette outside the shelter, the group approached them and attempted to take their alcohol. However, after the victim told the teens to quit accosting them, the witness says that things escalated.
“He protected me,” she recalled, noting that the girls proceeded to attack him.
“Bleeding, bleeding, bleeding. I didn’t know if they had a knife or what. I was just scared. I think they stabbed his belly…I didn’t know he would die.”
All 8 Girls Face Second-Degree Murder Charges
Now, the teens have been charged with second-degree murder. They initially appeared in court on Sunday, and their next appearance is reportedly scheduled for Dec. 29.
People with any useful information on the case are implored to contact authorities at 416-808-7400. Additionally, people can remain anonymous by contacting Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477).