Eight teenage girls who seemingly met via social media have been charged with second-degree murder for the stabbing death of a 59-year-old man in Toronto.
Police said the incident took place at a plaza near Toronto’s main rail station. Three of the girls charged are aged 13, three are 14, and two are 16.
The victim had recently moved into Toronto’s homeless shelter system.
“He does have a very supportive family in the area so I wouldn’t necessarily call him homeless, maybe just recently on some hard luck,” said Detective Sgt. Terry Browne of Toronto’s homicide unit at a press conference.
Eight Teenage Girls Charged With Murder
He added that police were alerted to the incident after bystanders flagged down paramedics to assist with his injuries, the result of an altercation with the girls. Police arrested all eight near where the assault took place, identifying them after speaking with witnesses. Several weapons were discovered during the arrest, police said.
The victim was taken to a nearby hospital, later succumbing to multiple stab wounds.
“I wouldn’t describe them as a gang at this point but what [is] alleged to have occurred that evening would be consistent with what we traditionally call a swarming,” Browne said of the alleged assailants.
He added that three of the suspects have a bit of a record, while the others had none.
All eight are due in court on Dec. 29.