Police have identified a teenager who died after being stabbed in an ‘unprovoked’ attack at a Toronto subway station Saturday night, and have charged an adult male suspect with his murder.
Police were called to the west-end Keele TTC station just before 9 p.m. after receiving a call for a stabbing.
It’s alleged that the victim, a 16-year-old male, was sitting on a bench in the station’s lower level when the suspect approached and stabbed him without provocation.
The victim suffered life-threatening injuries and was transported to hospital where he later died, according to police.
The victim has been identified as Gabriel Magalhaes, of Toronto.
Police say the suspect, identified as 22-year-old Jordan O’Brien-Tolbin, of no fixed address, was arrested on Saturday and charged with first-degree murder.
The charge has not been proven in court.
In a statement, Toronto’s Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie called the teen’s murder a “tragedy.”
“My thoughts are with Gabriel Magalhaes' family and friends as they mourn this loss,” she said.
“I understand Toronto Police have arrested and charged one person with first-degree murder. I hope the individual responsible for this murder will face justice.
McKelvie went on to say that the TTC must be a “safe place for all riders and transit workers – we can accept nothing less.”
“I support the work the TTC, Toronto Police and City staff are doing to implement additional safety measures funded by Toronto City Council in the 2023 budget including the hiring of 50 new special constables,” she said.
Magalhaes' murder comes after a series of random attacks that took place on or near the TTC earlier this year.
Over a one-month period between January and February, the Toronto Police Service notified the public of at least 14 different violent crimes against riders or employees.
TPS data, however, shows that about 60 incidents occurred per month throughout 2022.
In light of this, the city deployed 50 additional security guards to patrol the transit system and hired 20 community safety ambassadors.
However the overtime units cost the city about $1.5 million a month, a cost too high to maintain. The program came to an end two weeks ago.
Police say the increased police presence resulted in 314 arrests, as well as more than 220 referrals to people in need of social supports.
In a tweet, non-profit public transit advocacy group, TTC Riders, said Magalhaes’ murder is “heartbreaking,” adding the TTC will only be safer when Toronto is safer.
“Violence is not unique to public transit. Violent incidents on public transit started increasing three years ago when the pandemic began, but politicians responded only when high profile incidents were reported in the media,” they wrote.
“Safety on transit is a serious issue that deserves evidence-based, thoughtful solutions. Responding to violence based on the news cycle won't bring lasting change and is irresponsible.”
With files from the Canadian Press.