Eight teenaged girls were charged with murder after a 59-year-old man was stabbed to death in downtown Toronto over the weekend, police said on Tuesday.
The incident happened just after midnight on Sunday at a plaza near the city’s main rail station. The man, who was not identified, was pronounced dead at a hospital early on Sunday, Toronto Police Service said in a statement.
Three 13-year-old girls, three 14-year-old girls and two 16-year-old girls have been charged with second-degree murder, police added. The attack began when one of the girls tried to take alcohol from the man, witnesses told CTV News.
The suspects have made their first appearance in court and were remanded in custody, police told reporters. Their next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 29.
The suspects were involved in a separate altercation earlier that night, police said without elaborating.
“We did secure a number of weapons in regards to these individuals,” Detective Sergeant Terry Browne said.
Canada’s crime rate is relatively low compared with that of the United States, but the violent crime rate rose by 5% in 2021 from a year earlier, a trend found in many North American cities, according to data released in August.