Authorities in Canada have charged eight teenage girls with the murder of a 59-year-old man. The girls, including three 13-year-olds, three 14-year-olds and two aged 16, were arrested near where the attack happened.
They had assaulted and stabbed the man in Toronto's downtown early Sunday morning. Detective Sgt. Terry Browne, of the Toronto Police Service Homicide Squad, believes the girls were trying to take a bottle of alcohol from the victim, who later died at the hospital.
He said the group of teenagers met each other through social media – they come from various parts of the city. "We don't know how or why they met on that evening and why that destination was downtown Toronto," Browne said.
The police believe the group may have been involved in an altercation earlier in the evening before the stabbing.
Alarming and Shocking
"I have been in policing for almost 35 years and you think you have seen it all," Browne said. "Anyone who isn't shocked with hearing something like this has clearly just thrown in the towel and just said that anything is possible in this world. Eight young girls and most under the age of 16...If this isn't alarming and shocking to everyone, then we're all in trouble quite frankly."
The detective said the group, which hasn't been described as a gang at this point, took part in a "swarming". Browne added that they will see if there are similar attacks online. "Maybe these were eight young women that wanted to make a name for themselves and see if they could become socially famous."
According to the police, the teenage girls acted in concert. "They are all equally culpable. There is no doubt in our minds that they were all working as a singular entity in a swarming mob mentality when they chose to attack this man."
The police seized the weapons but didn't elaborate on what kind they were.