16-year-old boy identified as victim of “unprovoked” stabbing at Toronto subway station
Police respond to stabbing call at Keele subway station
Toronto police identified a 16-year-old boy as the victim of an “unprovoked” stabbing at a subway station Saturday evening. In a news release Sunday, police said officers responded to a stabbing call at the TTC’s Keele subway station just before 9 p.m. Gabriel Magalhaes of Toronto was sitting on a bench in the lower level of the station when he was approached by a man, the release said. “The suspect approached the victim and stabbed him, unprovoked,” police wrote. Police said Magalhaes was transported to hospital, where he later died from his injuries.
Suspect charged with first-degree murder
The alleged attacker, a 29-year-old man from Toronto named Johnnie Dwight Wisdom, was later arrested and charged with first-degree murder. He was set to appear in court Sunday. Magalhaes’s death marks Toronto’s 12th homicide this year.
Transit system responds to “terrible incident”
The TTC issued a statement describing the stabbing as a “terrible incident” and extending condolences to the teen victim’s friends and family. “Like everyone, we are concerned and saddened by this attack and we take incidents like these extremely seriously,” spokesperson Milly Bernal said in a statement. “The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority, and we will continue to work with Toronto Police Services as they investigate.” Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie also said her thoughts were with Magalhaes’ family and friends, adding she hopes the individual responsible will face justice.
Concerns over safety on transit systems
Toronto isn’t the only city facing rising violence on its transit system. In January, the Amalgamated Transit Union Canada, which represents 35,000 transit workers, called for a national task force involving all levels of government to tackle violence on public transit systems across the country. Toronto police announced in mid-March that they were ending extra patrols on city transit that had been introduced to respond to the rise in violence. Police had announced in late January that more than 80 officers working overtime shifts would patrol various locations on the TTC. But not everyone welcomed the move, saying an increased police presence wouldn’t make up for a lack of social supports and seemingly fewer services like shelters and housing.