8 teen girls charged in Toronto man’s murder

8 teen girls charged in Toronto man’s murder

Eight teenage girls in Toronto have been charged with second-degree murder of a 59-year-old man, police say.

Homeless shelter resident says victim protected her during incident.

Toronto downtown

Toronto police have charged eight teen girls with second-degree murder in connection with the stabbing death of a man downtown.

Eight teenage girls have been charged with second-degree murder of a 59-year-old man in Toronto, police say.

Three of the girls are 13-years-old, three are 14-years-old and two are 16-years-old. The girls have had previous contact with police.

Police believe the girls met on social media, and none of their identities can be released under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Police have no suspicion or evidence that the girls knew their alleged victim.

Police wouldn’t describe the girls as a gang at this point. Police said the group of teen girls allegedly assaulted and stabbed the man.

Toronto downtown street

The fatal Toronto stabbing took place near York Street and University Avenue. A resident of the Strathcona Hotel, which serves as a homeless shelter, said the man killed was trying to protect her.

Unclear why girls met that night

Browne said the man was talking with another person when the group approached him. Police don’t yet know why the girls did so or why things escalated.

The entire incident unfolded in three minutes, he said.

The man was taken to hospital by paramedics with life-threatening injuries and died a short time later, police said.

Officers from 52 Division arrested the girls nearby and recovered a number of weapons. Police have not etailed what those weapons were.

Police believe the girls came from various parts of Toronto, but don’t know why they met that night. Investigators don’t know how long the girls have known each other.

The girls were also involved in an altercation before the stabbing, with police describing their behaviour as criminal.

Police believe the group was in the area at least by 10:30 p.m.

One of the busiest intersections in Toronto

‘He protected me,’ witness says of victim

Police say the victim moved into Toronto’s homeless shelter system in late fall.

“He is not someone that I would describe as someone who appears or has been homeless for a long period of time,” someone told Here and Now.

A resident of the homeless shelter at the Strathcona Hotel, who didn’t want her name to be used, told CBC Toronto she was smoking a cigarette with the man outside the shelter when the group of girls approached them. She said the girls tried to take her alcohol. The man told them to stop and leave her alone, she said.

“He protected me,” she said.

The girls punched him repeatedly, she added. She walked away because she was frightened and one of the girls tried to follow her.

“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.

The death marks the city’s 68th homicide of the year.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a statement on Tuesday night 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.

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