Police say that two young people are now facing charges in connection with a stabbing at Scarborough Town Centre on Tuesday night.
It happened at around 6:30 p.m. during an altercation between two groups of people inside the mall.
Police initially said that three people were stabbed, however in a news release issued on Wednesday they clarified that there were only two victims with stab wounds – a 19-year-old man and a 20-year-old man.
They said that both were taken to hospital in serious condition.
The two suspects fled the mall following the stabbing but were arrested a short time later, according to police.
A 14-year-old boy is now charged with three offences, including assault with a weapon. The other suspect is a 16-year-old boy. Police say that he is charged with six offences, including assault with a weapon and use of an imitation firearm in the commission of an offence.
The stabbing was just the latest violent incident involving young people in the GTA this week.
There was also another stabbing on the grounds of a Mississauga secondary school on Tuesday afternoon, which injured two people. A 15-year-old male has been arrested in connection with that incident.
Meanwhile, on Monday afternoon a student was also stabbed outside Birchmount Collegiate Institute in Scarborough. Police continue to look for three suspects in that incident, which occurred just after the afternoon bell.
Asked about the spate of incidents during a news conference on Wednesday, Mayor John Tory said they are “deeply troubling.”
“The trend line, I don’t think it is an epidemic, but I also don’t think it’s encouraging to see the number of these kinds of incidents that are randomly happening in places like schoolyards and shopping malls,” he said. “There were days gone by where yes you’d have the odd exchange go on in the schoolyard between students but now it seems that it is not entirely unusual for a knife to be pulled as part of those exchanges.”
Tory told reporters that he has spoken with Police Chief James Ramer about the number of violent incidents involving young people in the past and has been assured that they are, on the whole, “random” incidents that are not connected to one another.
But he said that the violence does speak to a broader problem and underscores the need for investments aimed at addressing the root causes of youth violence.
“Even when they’re random, separate incidents it is indicative of a problem that exists with that particular age group and you’d have to ask yourself the question of what would cause somebody in that age group to be carrying a knife to begin with or an edged weapon,” he said. “I just think that moreso than saying ‘well, we need more police to be around school yards or we need tougher laws on the possession of a knife’ what we’ve got to get at is how do we invest in kids and families generally, including through the health system and mental health system to try to stop this kind of behavior from happening again.”
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