8 teenage girls charged with murder in deadly stabbing attack on 59-year-old man in Canada

Eight teenage girls have been charged with murder in Canada in the stabbing death of a 59-year-old man in what police are describing as a “swarming” attack.

Toronto police responded to a call for assault near York Street and University Avenue shortly after midnight on Sunday and found the victim suffering life-threatening injuries, the Toronto Police Service said in a news release.

He was transported to a nearby hospital where he died shortly afterwards. Police said he was a Toronto resident but haven’t shared his name pending next-of-kin notification. 

In the investigation, authorities learned the victim was allegedly assaulted and stabbed by a group of teenage girls and eight teens were arrested nearby. 

The girls — three 13-year-olds, three 14-year-olds and two 16-year-olds — have been charged each with second-degree murder and they appeared before court at Old City Hall on Sunday, police said.

They’ve been remanded into custody and are scheduled to reappear in court Dec. 29, Detective Sgt. Terry Browne said in a police news conference Tuesday.

He revealed that the group of girls were in the area Saturday by 10:30 p.m. and were allegedly involved in an altercation earlier before the attack on the 59-year-old man.

He described the group’s behavior in the fatal attack as “swarming,” which he said normally involves selecting a target to victimize, Canadian news outlet CBC reported.

The victim had entered the city’s shelter system in the late fall, Browne said.

“He does have a very supportive family in the area. I wouldn’t necessarily call him homeless, maybe just recently on some hard luck,” he said.

Browne said the eight girls met each other through social media and come from varying parts of the city. 

“We don’t know how or why they met on that evening and why the destination was downtown Toronto. We don’t know how long they have been acquainted together with each other. I wouldn’t describe them as a gang at this point,” he said. 

Three of the girls had prior contact with Toronto Police Services before the Sunday incident, while the other five did not, Browne said.

He said “a number of weapons were secured,” but didn’t disclose what they were. 

Police are asking for the public’s help with information on this group and to submit photo and video evidence if possible.

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