Eight teenage girls met through social media have been charged with the murder of a homeless man in Toronto on Sunday, police said.
The gang of three 13-year-olds, three 14-year-olds and two 16-year-olds mobbed their 59-year-old victim in a square near the main railway station after midnight on 18 December. Toronto Police Department announced.
Bystanders who saw the girls stab the man on York Street and University Street flagged down EMS, who transported the victim to a nearby hospital. Detective Sergeant Terry Brown said the victim, who had been living in the city’s shelter system for several weeks, succumbed to his injuries. Press conference on Tuesday.
Brown revealed that the teens were found near the scene carrying “a number of weapons”.
The group of girls — whose identities are protected by Canada’s Youth Criminal Justice Act — may have gone out with the intent of causing trouble. Police said the teens were involved in another altercation about two hours before the homeless man was killed.
“What is alleged to have occurred that evening would be consistent with what we would traditionally call swarming or swarming type behavior,” Brown said.
Brown said three of the teens had histories with the police.
The girls live in different parts of Toronto and met through social media, though police don’t yet know how long they’ve known each other. Officials are still investigating why they met in the area and what their plans are for this evening.
All eight girls were charged with second-degree murder. They have been placed on remand and are due to appear again at the end of the month.
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