As Shari-Ann Selvey prepares to bury her 14-year-old son, Devan Selvey, after he was fatally stabbed outside of his Hamilton high school on Monday, it marks the second funeral she will have to organize for one of her children.
“How many children is a mother supposed bury?” she said while fighting back tears.
“How many urns am I supposed to have?”
Shari-Ann spoke with Global News beside a memorial that was setup in honour of her son, who she described as a kind, quiet boy who usually kept to himself and enjoyed playing video games.
“We set up this little campfire because he loved them,” she said.
“He was a great son always coming in and giving me hugs. He was so sweet.”
Emergency crews were called to Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School on Main Street East just before 1:20 p.m. on Monday with reports of an assault.
Shari-Ann said Devan called her on Monday asking that she pick him up. When she arrived, she said he was being harassed. That’s when Shari-Ann said the group of kids around him discharged what she believes to be a can of bear spray, prompting Devan to run.
“I drove after the kids — maybe I shouldn’t have driven after them,” she recalled.
“I was yelling and screaming at them to stop.”
Alice Smith lives near the school and her home surveillance video system captured the exchange.
“I thought the kids had done something to her car.”
Minutes later, Smith recalled seeing sirens. When she ran over to see what was going on, she said she saw a woman in hysterics. Smith later identified that woman as Devan’s mother.
“There was the boy covered in blood … can you imagine a mother watching her son die on the sidewalk?” she said between tears.
Shari-Ann said she made it to her son just as he was attacked.
“I almost got him in the car,” she said with tears streaming down her face.
“His last words were, ‘I can’t hit you … I wasn’t raised that way.'”
Devan was rushed to Hamilton General Hospital by paramedics where he later died.
By Tuesday, Hamilton police said four people, between the ages of 14 and 18, were arrested in connection with the stabbing. However, in an update released Wednesday morning, Hamilton police said two 16-year-olds arrested as part of the investigation were later released “unconditionally.”
The co-accused, a 14-year-old and 18-year-old who cannot be identified under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, are facing first-degree murder charges. Police said the suspects are and were students at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School.
Meanwhile, Shari-Ann said when it came to school, Devan was afraid because he was picked on since the year began. It’s something his best friend, Mikey Wager, echoed.
“He was bullied since the first day of school,” Wager said.
“He never did anything to anyone. He didn’t deserve this.”
Shari-Ann said the bullying escalated in early September when he was “jumped.” She said his bike was stolen.
Karissa Selvey, Devan’s sister and Shari-Ann’s daughter, graduated from Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School. She said the bullying at the school has only gotten worse.
“He was my best friend — my brother — I’ll never get over this,” Karissa said.
For Karissa, who set up a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to help with funeral expenses, said the tragedy is too much.
“He was going to be an uncle,” she said, explaining she is due to give birth in a couple of weeks.
Left without her little brother, Karissa said she questions why the school and police didn’t help the teen while he was still alive.
— With files from Nick Westoll