16-year-old charged with second-degree murder of Montreal teen, vigil held outside school
A 16-year-old boy has been charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of another teenager outside his school on Monday.
In a news release issued at noon Friday, police confirmed they arrested a youth, four days after the violent incident took place.
The suspect appeared at the Montreal courthouse Friday afternoon, where the prosecution said it would seek an adult sentence. Crown prosecutors objected to his release. The teenager returns to court Tuesday to set a bail hearing date.
His identity has not been released because he is a minor.
Jannai Dopwell-Bailey, 16, was stabbed in broad daylight in the parking lot of the Programme Mile End school on Van Horne Avenue in the city’s Cote-des-Neiges neighbourhood.
He made it inside the school to seek help after the 3 p.m. attack and later died in hospital.
Police said the attack started as a fight between a group of boys outside the nearby recreational centre and spilled over to the school’s parking lot. Dopwell-Bailey's friends told CTV that there's been escalating violence between two groups of boys for months.
The news of the arrest comes on the same day families and friends are expected to gather at a candlelight vigil to remember Dopwell-Bailey at the same spot where he was killed.
The victim's mother, Charla Dopwell, her family and their supporters are expected to gather there at 6 p.m.
'HE'S JUST A MEMORY'
While the news of the arrest brings the family closer to seeking some justice, Dopwell said it does little to mend her broken heart at the loss of her son.
"It won't help me in my grief. I am happy they arrested somebody, but I don't think it will help the grief because if they arrest him, [my] son won't come back to me," she said.
"He's just a memory. He can't come back to me. I'm very, very broken."
Dopwell doesn't know the person arrested in her son's killing. She said police called around 11 p.m. Thursday to inform her they had someone in custody. "im
She said her son was a very "well-mannered" and "respectful" who had so much to look forward to in his future.
"It's a brutal, horrific murder for a little 16-year-old who had all his life to look forward to and it was just abruptly taken away from him," she said.
"My son was a good person and a loving person."
What has helped her through her grief is the outpouring of support from the community, she said. She has fielded phone calls and text messages from loved ones in New York and Saint Vincent, in the Caribbean, offering their condolences.
A VIGIL AFTER A PAINFUL WEEK
At a vigil on Friday evening outside Dopwell-Bailey's school, his relatives mingled with friends and teachers and other people he knew, sharing memories.
"He loves to dance, he loves to rap, he loves hanging out in the park with his friends," said a cousin, Onica John.
"He was full of life, always smiling. He loved his mom, he loved his family a lot," she said. "He was loved and continues to be loved."
Someone also set up a GoFundMe for the family on Thursday, which quickly surpassed its $10,000 goal.
But this week has not always been full of expressions of support. As Dopwell-Bailey's family waited for news of the arrest after Monday, videos circulated on social media with violent imagery mocking the victim.
In one video, a masked man appeared to hold a knife while addressing Dopwell-Bailey, whose nickname was Twizzy.
Police said on Tuesday they were aware of the videos but couldn't confirm the people depicted in them were inmplicated in the fatal attack.
The investigation into Dopwell-Bailey's death is ongoing, according to police, who say the public's cooperation is "important."
His mother said she is waiting anxiously for news of two other arrests -- of the other boys who were apparently present.
"There were three," she said.
Anyone with information about the homicide can contact Info-Crime Montréal anonymously at 514 393-1133 or fill out the report form available at infocrimemontreal.ca.
- With files from CTV Montreal's Stephane Giroux and Billy Shields