A man who police say was stabbed by one or more panhandlers earlier this week has died.

Police said 32-year-old Ross Hammond, who was stabbed Thursday after an argument escalated into violence, succumbed to his wounds early Saturday morning.

The victim was walking near Queen Street West and Gore Vale Avenue shortly after 12:30 a.m. with a friend when he was approached by panhandlers asking for money, Det. Sgt. Gary Giroux said during a press conference.

Giroux said the two men refused to give the suspects money, and a verbal dispute ensued.

The argument escalated and the victim was stabbed several times in the chest and back. His friend was also assaulted, Giroux said.

Hammond was taken to St. Michael's hospital in serious condition, where he underwent a number of emergency surgeries. His condition deteriorated until he died Saturday.

Four panhandlers, all in their early 20s, currently face charges of aggravated assault and weapons offences, but Giroux said he expected the charges to be upgraded in light of Hammond's death.

The following suspects are in custody in connection with the incident:

  • Douglas Fresh, 22;
  • Nicole Kish, 21;
  • Sarah McDermit, 22; and
  • Jeremy Woolley, 21

The suspects are due in court next week. Woolley is also wanted on an outstanding warrant in the U.S., Giroux said.

While investigating the scene, police retrieved evidence from a taxi cab that was splattered with blood after the altercation. Hammond may have tried to flee by jumping into the taxi.

"He tried to get into the cab and the cab was still moving," one witness told CTV News.