A 13-year-old boy has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a man who was run over and suffered a stab wound in Toronto over the weekend.
Toronto police said on Friday that the boy, who cannot be named because of his age, was arrested and charged at 8 a.m.
Det. Sgt. Mike Carbone said at a news conference on Sunday that investigators believe the victim, Aaron Rankine-Wright, was targeted.
The 19-year-old was on his way to work when he was struck by an SUV at Frankish and Sheridan avenues near Dufferin Street and Dundas Street West on Saturday afternoon, according to police.
Police said witnesses told them there were three men inside the vehicle who, after striking Rankine-Wright, got out of the vehicle and began kicking and punching him.
Rankine-Wright was found unconscious and was then rushed to hospital. The cause of death was determined to be a stab wound to the chest.
Investigators said three male suspects fled the scene after the SUV struck a tree. A 17-year-old has already been arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
“We still have one outstanding male,” said Gary Long, a civilian spokesman for Toronto police.
The third suspect is described as being in his late teens or early 20s.
Victim was ‘tenacious, hardworking’
A funeral for Rankine-Wright is scheduled for Saturday morning.
The 19-year-old Torontonian was a wrestler with a non-profit youth development organization called Beat the Streets.
The organization’s executive director, who worked with Rankine-Wright as his coach, remembered him as a strong-minded individual.
The 13-year-old accused in the man’s death was expected to appear in court on Friday.
Veteran Toronto criminal lawyer Joseph Neuberger said it’s rare — though not unheard of — for such a serious charge to be laid against someone so young.
Neuberger, who is not involved in the case, said that because the accused is under 14 years of age, he cannot be tried as an adult under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
LISTEN: Global News Radio 640 Toronto legal analyst Joseph Neuberger
If convicted, the boy could serve a maximum 10-year sentence, consisting of a period in custody generally less than six years, and then a few years of conditional supervision in the community, which could be served at a facility for youth, he said.
“It’s not insignificant, and these facilities are quite difficult,” Neuberger told 640 Toronto host Kelly Cutrara on Friday.
“They’re not a piece of cake as people might think.”
Police are asking anyone with information in the case to reach out to investigators or Crime Stoppers.
— With files from Jessica Patton, Neil Kumar and Danny Longo