By Shannon Higgins
A 16-year-old male was stabbed multiple times last Friday, after two groups of people had a “rumble” on Gould Street next to the future site of Ryerson’s Student Learning Centre. The victim suffered stab wounds to the head, back and side and was rushed to St. Michael’s Hospital in serious condition shortly after 7:45 p.m.
A 16-year-old witness to the crime and friend of the victim said he was walking down Gould Street with friends when they were approached by another group of people.
“We were just walking here and some guys came up to us.” “There was a rumble and one of my friends got stabbed three times. He’s in the hospital right now,” he said at the scene.
“They just stopped us and said ‘what’s up,’” he added. “We all just had a rumble here. They just came up to us.”
The witness said the victim is a high school student at Jean Vanier Secondary School.
According to Const. Tony Vella, the witness who called 911 was hysterical.
The caller told emergency services a man ran up on them, “smashed” his friend’s face and started stabbing the victim. The caller also reported that the victim was bleeding profusely from his face, back and on his side, near his lung.
The victim is now in stable condition, according to a Toronto Star report and the police are still investigating the crime.
Toronto police Det. Barry Radford of 51 Division, was at the scene and said witnesses were taken to the station. Vella confirmed that two minors, aged 16 and 17, were taken for questioning but could not say whether they were suspects or witnesses.
So far, no charges have been laid. But the police have released descriptions of two suspects and are looking for help to identify the remaining members of the group who were present at the stabbing. The first suspect is described as male, white, 5’6” to 5’8”, slim to medium build, spiky black hair, 16, and the second suspect is male, 19, and Asian.
The Toronto Star is reporting the stabbing was not a random attack and the two groups involved may have had contact before the incident occurred, according to police Sgt. John Spanton.
Returning to school on Monday, some students were surprised to hear the news.
“It makes me scared ‘cause I do come here every day. To know that someone’s been stabbed, it makes me feel not safe…it just shocks me,” said first-year business management student Cherie Thi.
Others students have accepted that violence is just a part of the downtown core where Ryerson is located. “It’s not surprising… but it’s unfortunate,” said Stewart Deall, a fourth-year arts and contemporary studies student, who added that part of the problem is Ryerson’s campus security. “I feel the security that Ryerson has is inadequate. I work for Campus Planning in the summer. There’s been instances where we’ve radioed for them to come and they’ve taken long.”
President Sheldon Levy said there’s no need for students to panic. “I don’t want anyone to think that the campus is unsafe… but you’re in a downtown urban setting and it’s horribly unfortunate that these events happen.”