A mother who watched her 14-year-old son be stabbed to death outside of his Hamilton, Ont. high school said bullying had been an ongoing issue.
Speaking with CTV News Toronto off-camera one day after her teenage son had died, Shari-Ann Sullivan Selvey said she was alerted to Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, located near Parkdale Avenue South and Main Street East, on Monday afternoon for a problem.
She said her son, Devan Selvey, had been bullied at the school for quite sometime, but did not go into any further detail on the matter.
She described her 14-year-old son as being a bit shy as he took time to open up to people.
A friend of Selvey told CTV News Toronto the teenager was “quiet and very giving.”
“He would share with people and he was nice to everyone,” Bobby Shoker said. “I feel sad because he was really close to me and we were close friends and he was really innocent.”
Two teens charged with first-degree murder
Two suspects, an 18-year-old male and a 14-year-old male, both from Hamilton, were taken into police custody after emergency crews were called to the high school around 1:30 p.m. for reports of a violent incident happening just outside.
The pair was charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday morning as they appeared in court.
Sgt. Steve Berziuk said investigators are “satisfied based on evidence that there was some element of pre-planning and pre-meditation to this homicide” while speaking at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon.
At the news conference, Berziuk announced that two additional suspects had been arrested in the case.
One day later, Hamilton police said the pair was “released unconditionally.”
Two youth arrested yesterday afternoon in relation to the death of 14-year-old @Churchill_HWDSB student Devan Selvey have been released unconditionally. Hamilton Police have now released the scene in #HamOnt. Detectives continue to investigate. Read more: https://t.co/fM63dJkcJV pic.twitter.com/E5h9diRyqX
— Hamilton Police (@HamiltonPolice) October 9, 2019
The identity of those facing charges in connection with the fatal stabbing cannot be released due to a publication ban and the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Victim’s mother ‘witnessed something horrible’
When emergency crews were called to the scene of the stabbing, Selvey’s mother was by his side.
The teenager was transported to hospital from the scene but succumbed to his injuries a short time later.
“She was just very upset,” a witness, who only identified herself as Alice, told CTV News Toronto. “She couldn’t stop crying. She had two people beside her, holding her because she was shaking, she was crying and crying.”
“Can you imagine a mother watching her son die on the sidewalk?”
Berziuk described the victim’s mother as being “distraught and devastated” in the aftermath of what had occurred.
“(The mother) witnessed something horrible here,” he told reporters.
Vigil to be held tonight
A candlelight vigil is scheduled to take place on Wednesday evening at the Hamilton high school.
An event page on Facebook said the gathering in Selvey’s honour will be a peaceful memorial and time of solidarity.
“Please leave any hate and negativity at home,” the description of the event said.
“We must come together at this time of grief as a community to show solidarity with the families and in support of all our children being bullied all over Canada.”
The vigil is set to begin at 6:30 p.m.
Officers appeal for more information
While Berziuk said that officers have spoken with “dozens of witnesses,” they are continuing to ask anyone with further information to come forward.
Investigators are continuing to look into the relationship between the accused and the victim, Berziuk said.
“Police will continue to work with Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School and the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board,” he said.
The school and school board have said both are fully cooperating with the investigation.
— HWDSB (@HWDSB) October 7, 2019