Eight teenage girls have been charged with second degree murder after a 59-year-old man was stabbed to death in Toronto.
The man was found stabbed Sunday shortly after 12 a.m., following a report of an assault in the area of York Street and University Avenue. The man was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died, police said. Authorities did not release the man’s name pending family notification.
The eight girls were found shortly after the attack and taken into custody and charged with second-degree murder, Detective Sgt. Terry Browne of the Toronto Police Service Homicide Unit said during a news conference Tuesday.
A witness told CBC that 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.
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.
Three of the girls are 13, three of them are 14, and two of them are 16, according to a news release from the Toronto Police Service.
The group of teenagers “met each other through social media. They come from varying parts of the city,” Browne said Tuesday.
“We don’t know how or why they met on that evening and why that destination was downtown Toronto,” Browne said, adding police believe the group may have been involved in an “altercation” earlier in the evening before the stabbing.
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