Toronto’s ‘Swarming’ Killing of 59-year-old Man Allegedly by 8 Girls

In connection with the killing of Ken Lee in December, eight teenage girls have been charged with second-degree murder. It has been revealed who the Toronto guy fatally stabbed last month in an alleged attack by several teenage females was.

The 59-year-old victim was identified as Ken Lee by the Toronto Police Service in a press release. On December 18, just after midnight, a deadly stabbing occurred in the city’s University Avenue and York Street neighborhood.

During a press conference after the event, Detective Sgt. Terry Browne of the Toronto Police Service Homicide Unit stated, “Emergency medical services were hailed down by a group of people who reported an assault.”

Lee was taken to the hospital with potentially fatal wounds after allegedly being stabbed by the adolescents in an attack that lasted around three minutes. After a short while, he was declared dead.

Eight females were subsequently detained nearby, including two 16-year-olds and three 13-year-olds. A number of weapons, according to Browne, were found at the scene.

Following some “hard luck,” Lee entered the city’s homeless shelter system last fall, according to Browne. Local media reported that he no longer lived in the shelter, according to friends who worked there but were visiting someone there when the attack happened.

Before the attack, Lee was outside with another friend, according to Ken Webber, the victim’s friend, who spoke to CTV News Toronto. They were smoking cigarettes and consuming alcohol while perched on a bench, according to Webber.

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Police believe that the confrontation started because of Webber’s claims that the girls approached the victim and his companion and attempted to steal their booze.

Det.-Sgt. Browne also said the incident was believed to be set off by an attempted theft — “likely of a liquor bottle” — before it turned fatal. “I don’t want to expand on that because we don’t have all the moving parts right now. But we believe that forms part of the narrative involved in this,” he recently told CBC News.

This statement was verified by Lee’s friend, who told Global News that she was there during the alleged attack and that the victim defended herself when the adolescents tried to seize her alcohol.

“I saw everything,” the friend told the news channel. “He [tried to] stop them, ‘leave her alone,’ and they [stabbed him] and [he was] bleeding.”

Lee was considerate, according to Roberto Sanchez, who works at a nearby restaurant, told CTV News last month. “He was friendly. He was generous. He was a kind-hearted person … For those youths to do that to him — it’s heart-wrenching. I can’t believe it,” said he.

Advocates opposing violence against the homeless spoke out during a ceremony Tuesday in front of the Toronto Homeless Memorial. According to Diana Chan McNally, the case manager for harm reduction at All Saints Toronto, violence against homeless people is getting worse.

“This is the most extreme example, but we see it all the time. I get people coming in with all kinds of injuries from being beaten up by strangers,” she told the outlet, noting, “I think there’s just so much hatred and dehumanization of people who are unhoused.”

At a previous press conference, Browne said, “We can’t see what the [connection] is with these eight young ladies right now. But our sense is…that there’s probably some social media component to it.”

The girls were from various parts of the city, and according to Browne, it’s not apparent why they decided to get together that evening. Browne added that at least one more fight involving the females was thought to have occurred that evening.

All eight teens have been charged with second-degree murder. Browne said this was because “all eight were involved,” per CBC. “I won’t say what each individual did, but all eight were together and participating in this event, which is disturbing.”

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According to CBC, one of the teenagers was released on bail in late December, and bail hearings for the other three are presently planned for this month. According to reports, they will maintain anonymity through the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

“My thoughts are with this [victim’s] friends and all those who knew him as they mourn his loss,” Mayor John Tory told PEOPLE in an earlier statement. “Acts of violence like this are unacceptable and the Toronto Police have my full support.”

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