Two people who died at VELD identified
The man and woman who died after ingesting a party drug at the VELD Music Festival in Toronto's Downsview Park over the long weekend have been identified as Willard Amurao and Annie Truong-Le, CTV Toronto has learned.
Toronto police have not released the names of the two people, but Amurao's aunt said the 22-year-old man died early Monday morning after taking the drug; and friends on social media have identified Truong-Le, 20, as the other person who died.
Police say that Amurao died after becoming violent with paramedics on an ambulance. He was in handcuffs, but they were removed while he was being treated. He was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital. The Special Investigations Unit is investigating due to the police presence at the time of death.
The circumstances surrounding Truong-Le's death have not been released. She was a former intern at Toronto city hall and worked for Coun. Anthony Perruzza.
On Tuesday, police zeroed in on two different pills that may be linked to two deaths at the festival.
Det. Sgt. Peter Trimble says investigators have flagged two pills of concern: a small, brown pill and a small, clear capsule filled with a white substance. The party drugs were singled out after police put out a public appeal to festival-goers to turn over any substances that were purchased at VELD.
Police said that 13 other people who attended the festival were also taken to hospital. Some of them have since been released, and they are all expected to make a full recovery. Police said they believe all 15 people had ingested a party drug bought at the site of the festival, but authorities said they aren't sure which drug may have caused the deaths.
Trimble says some festival-goers ingested up to 10 pills at the event, while others took drugs they found on the ground. He added that some people "didn't know what they were taking."
He said the drugs caused a "general feeling of unwellness" and quite a few of those who were taken to hospital had seizures.
Trimble said a post-mortem has been conducted on the two people who died at the festival, and the cause of death won’t be known until toxicology reports come in.
He said the investigation into the “criminal act” continues. He urged festival-goers to send in photos and videos that were taken at VELD to TPS.on.ca/veld. Trimble says it would help if a time stamp, contact information and details about where the photo or video was taken are also attached to anything sent to police.
On Tuesday, one of the organizers of VELD extended his condolences to the families of the man and woman who died at the long weekend event.
Charles Khabouth, founder of INK Entertainment and an organizer of the festival, said in a statement that he was saddened by the "health-related tragedies.
"We extend our heart-felt condolences to the families and friends of these individuals and will keep them in our prayers," he said.
"Public safety and security have always been the number one priorities of the VELD Music Festival and we will continue to make sure they remain that way and with the highest standard of support."
According to the statement, VELD employed 280 licensed security guards, 40 medics, a medical doctor, eight emergency medical service workers, 26 police officers and 15 senior security managers to keep the venue safe over the two-day event.
Anyone who may have bought the substance is being warned not to take it, and to turn it over to police so they can analyze the drug.