Police identify 14-year-old boy fatally stabbed in front of his mother
TORONTO -- Police have identified a 14-year-old boy who was fatally stabbed outside his Hamilton, Ont. high school on Monday afternoon in front of his mother.
Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, Sgt. Steve Berziuk identified the boy as Devan Selvey while announcing that two more teenagers had been arrested in the case.
“This is one of those investigations that hits the heart of the community,” Berziuk told reporters. “It’s very serious and people sympathize.”
Devan Selvey is seen in this undated image provided to CTV News Toronto by family members. (Supplied)
An 18-year-old male and a 14-year-old male, both from Hamilton, were charged with first-degree murder in connection with the fatal incident. They both appeared in court on Tuesday morning.
Shortly after, two more arrests were made.
“A 16-year-old male and a 16-year-old female were also arrested for first-degree murder and brought to Central Station for interviews,” Berziuk said. “They are currently here in custody and we are continuing to speak with them.”
“We are investigating their involvement.”
No charges have been laid against them.
Police said an additional suspect, who was taken into custody on Monday, was interviewed by investigators in the evening and was “later released unconditionally once his involvement in the investigation was established.”
Victim’s mother ‘witnessed something horrible’
The initial suspects were taken into police custody after emergency crews were called to the area of Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, located near Parkdale Avenue South and Main Street East, for reports of a violent incident at around 1:30 p.m.
Officers arrived at the scene to find a male teenager, who was in the company of his mother, suffering from life-threatening injuries. Selvey was subsequently transported to hospital for treatment but succumbed to his injuries a short time later.
“(The mother) witnessed something horrible here,” Berziuk said on Monday. “She is distraught… she is devastated.”
Berziuk said investigators are “satisfied based on evidence that there was some element of pre-planning and pre-meditation to this homicide.”
Investigators later confirmed Selvey was a student at the high school.
The identity of those arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing, cannot be released due to a publication ban and the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
‘This entire incident is disturbing’
When asked if police were concerned about video of the incident potentially being shared online, Berziuk called the entire investigation “disturbing.”
“I do encourage people that may be in possession of any type of video to please contact us, reach out to us so that we can be provided with that video evidence,” he said. “I would discourage anybody from passing that information along through social media or any other context for that matter because it could be evidence.”
Berziuk said he has yet to meet with Selvey’s family to discuss the investigation.
“It is difficult to comprehend right now to be honest with you. I can’t imagine the way that the family feels right now. I have yet to meet with the family, they continue to grieve and this has been such a high-paced, dynamic investigation that we’re focused on the homicide investigation and holding those accountable for the death of a young 14-year-old.”
Officers said they have spoken to “dozens of witnesses” in the community, while continuing to canvas the area for further information.
“The ground search for the murder weapon was conducted this morning and at this time I can tell you I believe we are in possession of the murder weapon – it has been located in the immediate area of the homicide,” Berziuk said. “It was found by Hamilton police.”
In the investigation, officers said they are looking into the relationship between the accused and the victim.
“As far as the relationship between the accused and the victim, it’s still something we are looking into,” Berziuk said. “I cannot comment specifically on that because I don’t want to perhaps give away any potential information that could lead to the identity of the accused because they are youths.”
Officers have set up a command van in the area of Ivon Avenue and Dunsmure Road.
“Hamilton police officers will remain in the area for the majority of the day processing evidence and canvassing,” police said in a news release issued on Tuesday. “Police will continue to work with Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School and the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.”
In a statement issued on the day of the deadly stabbing, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board said it was “shocked” by what had occurred.
“Our hearts are broken by the news that a 14-year-old student has died,” Manny Figueiredo, the board’s director of education, said in the statement. “There are no words that can begin to describe how shocked we are to learn about this loss.”
“Our entire community shares in the grief and sadness of having lost a valued and loved student. We can never tolerate acts of violence. We must always promote acts of kindness and peace.”
On Tuesday, grief counsellors were made available to those affected by the incident at the high school, police said.
Anyone with further information regarding the case is asked to contact investigators at 905-546-4123 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).