Cops Name Man Who 8 Girls Allegedly Swarmed

Toronto residents charged with second-degree murder of man outside homeless shelter
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2022 6:55 AM CST
Updated Jan 10, 2023 5:39 PM CST
8 Teen Girls Swarmed, Killed a Stranger: Cops
A nighttime view from Toronto's Yonge Street.   (Getty Images/Raymond Spellen)
UPDATE Jan 10, 2023 5:39 PM CST

The man who was stabbed to death in December in what police have called a "swarming" attack was on Tuesday identified as Ken Lee; he had previously been described as a 59-year-old who was residing in Toronto's homeless shelters. The Guardian reports Lee was attacked near the main train station downtown just after midnight on Dec. 18, allegedly by a group of eight teen girls ages 13 to 16. All face second-degree murder charges, and the CBC reports only has had a bail hearing thus far; she was granted bail and has been allowed to return to school, though she can't use a phone or contact the other seven.

Dec 21, 2022 6:55 AM CST

Eight teenage girls are charged with murder after allegedly stabbing a stranger in Toronto. Canadian police believe the girls from across the city—three are 13, three are 14, and two are 16—met on social media before gathering downtown on Saturday evening. Shortly after midnight, bystanders flagged down emergency services near Toronto's main rail station to assist a man who'd been stabbed. Police believe the girls attacked the 59-year-old, who'd recently entered the city's homeless shelter system, for more than three minutes, per the CBC. The man was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries and later died. Police said officers found the girls nearby and recovered a number of weapons.

"I wouldn't describe them as a gang at this point but what [is] alleged to have occurred … would be consistent with what we traditionally call a swarming," which involves individuals selecting a target, said Det.-Sgt. Terry Browne, per the Guardian. He noted the group was involved in another altercation "similar in style to the swarming" around 10:30pm, per the CBC and City News. A woman told the CBC that she and the victim were sharing a cigarette outside a hotel homeless shelter when the girls tried to take her alcohol. She said the man told the girls to stop. "He protected me." She added the girls repeatedly punched the man and "I think they stabbed his belly." She described the man as "bleeding, bleeding, bleeding."

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Police said the victim moved into the homeless shelter system in late fall. "He does have a very supportive family in the area so I wouldn't necessarily call him homeless, maybe just recently on some hard luck," Browne said. "I am so saddened to know that a man has lost his life in this way," Toronto Mayor John Tory said Tuesday, per the CBC, adding he was "extremely troubled by the young age of those accused and by the number of people allegedly involved in this murder." The eight girls—three of whom were previously known to police—are charged with second-degree murder. They were remanded into custody on Sunday and are due back in court on Dec. 29. (More stabbing death stories.)

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