VANCOUVER – A 14-year-old was in custody and awaiting a bail hearing Monday after a weekend fight in a park on Vancouver’s west side led to the death of a 15-year-old, police said.
Sgt. Steve Addison said the victim, who can’t be named because of his age, died Sunday after undergoing surgery for a stab wound to the chest.
“We don’t believe this was a random incident, we believe these young people knew each other,” Addison said during a news conference.
The two groups of youths met at Almond Park, in Vancouver’s Dunbar neighbourhood, on Saturday afternoon, he said.
Addison would not comment about why police believe they gathered, how many were involved, the ages of the participants or what schools they might attend.
The homicide unit was still collecting evidence, he said, but had enough information to lay a single charge of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose against the 14-year-old arrested Saturday near the park.
“As we continue to gather evidence and understand more about what happened, we will continue to liaise with Crown,” Addison said of the possibility of more or upgraded charges.
The park is safe and there is no information to suggest the fight was related to gang involvement, he said.
“We do not believe there is an ongoing or imminent risk to anybody else in the community and I wouldn’t hesitate to take my own family out to that park and anybody who lives in that community, I would encourage to do the same,” said Addison.
Education Minster Jennifer Whiteside said Monday at a separate announcement that while she is not familiar with the circumstances of the case, she offers her condolences to the family of the student who was killed.
Students at the school he attended will be supported, she said.
“We will have triggered our response under our ERASE program, our Expect Respect In A Safe Environment program, which is about reaching out and ensuring that students have support in situations where there’s been a traumatic event.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 26, 2021.