Woman killed in massage parlour machete attack identified by police
TORONTO -- Graphic content warning: This story contains details that may disturb readers.
The owner of a Downsview massage parlour said she had to fight for her life after a suspect allegedly entered her business with a large machete, fatally stabbed one person and severely injured her in the aftermath.
The woman said she was in the foyer of the Crown Spa, located near Dufferin Street and Wilson Avenue, around 12:30 Monday afternoon, when she heard screams coming from a back room.
The following day the woman told CTV News Toronto that a friend of hers had been attacked and killed.
“I don’t even know if she had the ability to fight back,” she said. “She was a very, very beautiful girl. She was a super nice girl and she was very, very family oriented and she was a good friend.”
The woman who died has since been identified by police as 24-year-old Ashley Noell Arzaga of Toronto.
The massage parlour owner said that when she went to investigate after she heard screams in the back room, the suspect allegedly lunged at her and stabbed her upper arm.
“He didn’t say anything. He brought a machete to my … arm,” she said, while standing outside the massage parlour beside a pool of her own blood. “He took my finger off while I was trying to grab [the weapon].”
The woman said she struggled with the suspect and their altercation took them outside the spa and into the parking lot.
“I fought. I fought hard. I took the machete from him,” she said.
Police said callers notified 911 dispatchers that a 17-year-old boy and a woman were lying outside the spa, covered in blood.
Both people were suffering from “laceration-type” wounds and were transported to the hospital for treatment, police said.
Blood splatter could still be seen coating the spa’s doorway and the asphalt of the building’s front parking lot on Tuesday morning.
“That’s my blood,” the woman said as she trembled beside her mother, who held her around the shoulders.
Toronto police previously said that a weapon was recovered from the scene, but have not yet confirmed it was a machete.
In a news release issued on Tuesday, police said that the 17-year-old was taken into custody on Monday in connection with the incident and has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder.
The charges have not been tested in court.
Police say the investigation is still ongoing and are asking anyone who was in the area or has information about the incident to contact police or reach out to Crime Stoppers anonymously.