Homeless man fatally stabbed in downtown Toronto was 'gentle soul,' family says
Published Monday, June 10, 2019 1:02PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 10, 2019 7:57PM EDT
A 54-year-old homeless man fatally stabbed in downtown Toronto over the weekend has been escribed by family as a “gentle soul.”
James Andrew Smith was found by officers suffering from life-threatening injuries around 12:15 a.m. on June 8, in the area of Yonge and Charles streets.
He was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Clutching a photo of her uncle in trembling hands as she emerged from bail court today, Smith's niece Michelle said the family was devastated.
"He was a gentle soul that everyone loved. He would never hurt anybody,”
Police allege the deceased was standing next to a doorway at 730 Yonge Street when he was stabbed by a man, who fled the scene on foot. It is not known whether the victim or his assailant knew each other.
A suspect identified by investigators as Eric Bryant Ram was arrested on Monday and charged with second-degree murder in connection with the incident.
He made a brief court appearance Monday afternoon via video. Dressed in an orange prison-issued jumpsuit, the 24-year-old yawned repeatedly as his case was discussed.
Ram was remanded into police custody.
"Uncle James wasn't just another person on the street without a family. He was loved, and dearly missed," Michelle told CTV News Toronto outside the courtroom. “The only thing we’re going to say right now is, it’s in the Lord’s hands.”
The docket outside the bail courtroom indicates Ram was already going to be facing five other charges on Monday. Those charges, which are unrelated to Smith's murder, include threaten death or bodily harm, and failure to comply with bail conditions.
The judge put those matters over until June 20. Ram will return to court to face the second-degree murder charge on June 28.