Hamilton police say they have charged two people with first-degree murder in connection to the stabbing death of a 14-year-old boy outside of Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School Monday afternoon.
Det. Sgt. Steve Bereziuk told reporters emergency crews were called to the Main Street East school just before 1:20 p.m., forcing nearby schools and daycare centres into a brief hold-and-secure. He said the victim was rushed to Hamilton General Hospital where he later died.
Bereziuk said the victims’ mother was with him after he was injured.
“She’s witnessed something horrible here … she is distraught,” he said Monday evening.
Police said two people were arrested after the incident, a 14-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man. Bereziuk said a third person was arrested at around 6 p.m., but police later said he “was interviewed and later released unconditionally once his involvement in the investigation was established.”
In an update released Tuesday morning, police said the 14-year-old and 18-year-old suspects would be charged with first-degree murder. They were set to appear in a Hamilton court.
Detectives revealed Tuesday afternoon that a 16-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl were also arrested for first-degree murder. Investigators said they are “satisfied” the two are the outstanding suspects described by police on Monday night.
However, in an update released Wednesday morning, Hamilton police said two 16-year-olds arrested as part of the investigation were later released “unconditionally.”
Police have not released names of any of the suspects due to provisions under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Bereziuk confirmed there was some sort of relationship between the victim and the suspects, but added he didn’t know the extent.
“It’s a complete disregard for human life, which is extremely concerning for people of such a young age.”
Bereziuk said investigators were able to locate a knife believed to have been used in the assault. He also asked people in the area with dash-cam video or outdoor home surveillance video to contact investigators.
Meanwhile, Manny Figueiredo, director of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, issued a statement in response to the stabbing. He said supports will be brought in for students.
“Our entire community shares in the grief and sadness of having lost a valued and loved student,” he said.
“We can never tolerate acts of violence. We must always promote acts of kindness and peace for the sake of our entire Hamilton community.”
Anyone with information was asked to call police at 905-546-4123 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.
— With files from Gabby Rodrigues