Terror charge laid in case of woman allegedly murdered with hammer in Scarborough
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, February 25, 2020 4:01PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 25, 2020 7:46PM EST
A suspect accused of killing a woman with a hammer in Scarborough last week is now facing a terror-related charge in connection with her death.
Police were called to the area of Sheppard Avenue East and Havenview Road in Scarbborough just after 7 p.m. on Feb. 21 for a possible medical complaint.
According to Toronto police, the victim was walking east on Sheppard Avenue, near Markham Road, when she was attacked by a man armed with a hammer and struck in the back of the head.
The woman was found in “obvious distress” by a passerby. She was pronounced dead at the scene and has since been identified as 64-year-old Hang-Kam Annie Chiu.
A suspect turned himself in to police the following day.
Police said Saturday that 30-year-old Saad Akhtar was charged with first-degree murder.
Police announced Tuesday that the charge against him has now been upgraded to first-degree murder – including terrorist activity. Akhtar appeared in a Toronto courtroom Tuesday.
Toronto police said the upgraded charge follows a joint investigation with the RCMP over the weekend.
“During the investigation, evidence was discovered which led investigators to believe the homicide may have been a terrorist-related offence,” the RCMP said in a news release on Tuesday. “In line with existing protocols, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) was contacted and investigative assistance was requested.”
Toronto police would not say what sort of evidence was discovered or whether it pertained to any activity at the time of the murder, before, or after.
However police did say they are not investigating any other people at present with regards to the incident.
“The investigation is with respect to this one individual,” Toronto police spokesperson Meaghan Gray told CP24.
Gray said that aside from the hammer allegedly used in the murder, police are not aware of any other weapons in the investigation.
She said there is no information so far as to whether the suspect and the victim knew each other.