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Man charged with second-degree murder after friend killed in fight over religion
Published Tuesday, September 13, 2016 5:55AM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, September 13, 2016 6:36PM EDT
One man is dead and another has been charged with second-degree murder after a reported fight over religion that led to a violent altercation outside a rooming house near the York University campus early Tuesday morning.
It happened at an address on Boake Street in the Village at York University neighbourhood just after midnight.
The victim was without vital signs at the scene and was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at Humber River Hospital. Police later identified him as 28-year-old Alp Efe.
“They were having a normal conversation from about 4 p.m.,” area resident Megan Griffith told CTV Toronto Tuesday.
According to people who live in the area, the same group often gathered outside the rooming house. Police have not commented on the circumstances of the stabbing, however several witnesses told CTV Toronto that it occurred following an argument over religion.
“Some guy has been trying to say that Muslims are bad. The other guy is trying to say you guys are bad,” area resident Fatah Sandhu said. “…And last night for some reason, it just got out of hand.”
"And I heard them still out there at like 11 something and I heard one guy say, ‘Oh no, it's because you're Arabic,’ and the other guy was like, ‘No, it was not, it was your people,’" Griffith said.
A man who lives across the street told CTV Toronto that he heard the same two men having similar arguments three or four times this week. It always starts off friendly, he said, but then they start drinking.
"Gradually it starts getting bad, worse and worse,” said Sandhu. “And at a certain point, either somebody storms off or they push each other off, shove off, but last night, somehow, somebody lost control."
A witness said that one of the men left the area and then came back, which is when the fighting began.
"...And then, after that moment, he said it got quiet, like everyone was chilling, like everything calmed down and that's when the guy ended up swinging and stabbing the other man," the witness said.
Forensic officers are currently on scene collecting evidence. As well, police are going door-to-door in the neighbourhood in the hopes that someone may have surveillance camera footage.
Police confirmed Tuesday afternoon that a 31-year-old suspect has been arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing.
He appeared in court on Tuesday afternoon and was identified as Alijan Arif Khan.
Khan’s roommate, Jon Higgins, told CTV Toronto that he was the one who answered the door when police arrived to make the arrest.
“They asked me to step back in my room and then they informed (my roommate) that he was being arrested for (second-degree) murder and they read him his rights, asked him if he understood it. He said, ‘Yeah.’"
Police confirmed Khan and Efe knew each other. Efe is Toronto’s 50th homicide victim of the year.