Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Teen second in Toronto history to be slain in school
TORONTO -- In the seven years since 15-year-old Jordan Manners was gunned down at C.W. Jefferys C.I. in North York, there have been numerous close calls involving knives and guns at city schools.
So it was only a matter of time until tragedy struck again, as it did over the noon-hour Tuesday at North Albion C.I. with the brutal killing of Hamid Aminzada.
The 19-year-old, whose family immigrated recently from Afghanistan, was stabbed multiple times in a hallway at the school on Kipling Ave., just north of Finch Ave. W., and died later in hospital. He was the second student in Toronto’s history to be slain in a school.
“We’re obviously very heartbroken ... because he was a very nice young man,” said Naeem Siddiq, the high school’s principal. “It’s a tragic loss for us.”
Toronto Police say officers responded to the stabbing around 12:40 p.m. and found Aminzada bleeding from the stomach and face.
While the teen showed no vital signs, Const. Victor Kwong said firefighters revived him and he was rushed to hospital in critical condition.
But a couple of hours later, Supt. Ron Taverner broke “the very sad news” Aminzada had died.
“It’s very disturbing,” he said.
Taverner said Aminzada’s parents were notified and raced to be at their son’s side.
The teen’s mom initially went to 23 Division, where Taverner said she “collapsed” upon hearing the news and was treated by paramedics.
As doctors tried unsuccessfully to save the teen, the school was locked down and officers went room to room searching for the killer.
Officers also scoured the surrounding area, looking for a suspect described as a black male, about 17, and of medium height and build.
Upset parents arrived at the school during the lockdown, anxious to see their kids.
“Oh my God, it was devastating,” said Shelly Verge, whose 14-year-old daughter attends the school.
“I started freaking out at work and everybody was trying to calm me down,” she said, still shaking as she waited for her daughter to be released from school. “She must be terrified.”
She reached her daughter on a cellphone and found out she was fine.
An hour after the stabbing, students — many visibly shaken — began trickling out of the school one class at a time as their rooms were cleared by police.
“It was frightening,” Sameer Ali, 14, said, admitting he’ll be nervous to return to school.
Donna Quan, director of education for the Toronto District School Board, visited the school in the aftermath and said her thoughts are with the victim’s family and the school’s students and staff.
TDSB spokesman Sherri Schwartz Waltz said the school has two safety resource officers — who weren’t present Tuesday — two safety monitors and 39 security cameras.
Taverner said the city’s 38th murder of the year was not captured on video.
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