London, Ont., police say the two youths who were stabbed Tuesday may have been involved in a large, “unsanctioned” basketball event that later resulted in a fight in the parking lot of a shopping centre in the south end of the city.
Police now say one of the victims remains in hospital in serious, but non-life-threatening condition, while the other has since been released.
Police say the stabbing took place in the 1100-block of Wellington Road.
Police believe it followed the basketball event, a game that allegedly took place outside an elementary school in the 500-block of Bradley Avenue earlier in the night.
The large basketball event was organized by popular 20-year-old Toronto YouTuber “K Showtime,” who shares video content on social media while organizing similar games in various communities.
The planned game was held outside White Oaks Public School.
Videos of the event were later posted to social media after a “massive brawl” broke out after the event.
Yazan Bakir, 16, attended Tuesday’s basketball game and recalled that before the large fight, three to four smaller fights had broken out.
“They were playing and one guy got pushed and right away someone started punching. The crowd got closer to the fight and right away someone started punching. This is when the real fight started,” he said.
“Everyone knew a fight was going to break out but we didn’t know it was going to be that bad,” Yazan added.
In a statement to Global News, a member of K Showtime’s management team wrote: “This was an opportunity for basketball players, fans and supporters to come out and enjoy a fun pickup game of basketball. These ‘park takeovers’ are designed to create a space for fun healthy competition and highlight up-and-coming basketball players and YouTubers.”
Additionally, K Showtime provided a written statement.
“Out of the hundreds of fans that came to my event in London, a small group of people came with the intent to cause harm and disrupt the event for the rest of the people,” K Showtime said.
“I’ve learned that two teens were attacked at a nearby mall later that evening near my event. To my knowledge, this is unconnected with my takeover and I want to give my support and wish a speedy recovery to all involved. I in no way condone violence of that kind wherever and whenever it occurs.”
London Police Const. Sandasha Bough could not confirm if the event was linked to the stabbing.
“We can say that there was a large unsanctioned basketball game that was taking place nearby, and the game allegedly took place outside of an elementary school, down the road from where the stabbing took place,” she said. “Now we can’t speak to who may have hosted the game or who may have been at the game.”
A suspect description was provided to police, and a youth was arrested nearby following the stabbing. A second suspect was also identified and located.
Two knives were seized by police.