A 16-year-old boy has been charged with second-degree murder following a fatal stabbing outside a commercial plaza in Oshawa on Thursday afternoon.

A victim, now identified as 17-year-old Neveithan Baskaran, was outside a plaza near Taunton and Harmony roads just before 3 p.m. when he was stabbed.

Baskaran was reportedly found without vital signs at the scene. He was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead a short time later.

“I was just shocked,” Cassidy Grayson, a friend of Baskaran’s, told CTV News Toronto. “I just didn’t expect that to happen to him. I said, ‘Oh my god’ and then I just started crying.”

The flag at Maxwell Heights Secondary School, where Baskaran attended, was at half-mast on Friday.

Friends of the teen described as a happy person with a good sense of humour.

“He was a really positive kid,” Grayson said. “He was always laughing, always making jokes. He made me laugh all the time, that’s why I always hung out with him. It’s just crazy that he’s gone.”

School board staff declined to comment about the incident but released a statement on the school’s website detailing the events that took place shortly after classes let out on Thursday.

“An altercation occurred Thursday afternoon south of Maxwell Heights Secondary School in Oshawa, off school property, involving two of the school’s students,” the statement read in part. “The altercation escalated to a stabbing and resulted in the death of one of the students.”

In a news release issued the following day, police confirmed that a 16-year-old boy taken into custody at the time has been charged with second-degree murder in Baskaran’s death.

Police are withholding the identity of the suspect as per the terms of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Many students have taken to social media to react to Baskaran’s untimely death. A GoFundMe page has also been made in hopes of raising money to cover funeral costs for the teen’s family.

“I don’t even understand how someone would do something like that, just take someone’s life,” Grayson said.

The stabbing was the first homicide of 2018 in Durham Region.