A 26-year old American, celebrating a friend's bachelor party at a downtown Toronto bar, was killed early Saturday morning when he was pulled "unprovoked" into a street fight, during what police are calling a "completely random" deadly assault.
Toronto police are asking two male suspects, identified on video taken at the scene, to turn themselves in. Seven other individuals seen fleeing the scene are also sought for questioning.
Standing outside the Blnd Tger bar, in Toronto's Little Italy neighbourhood along College Street, and then in a later interview with The Globe and Mail, Detective Robert North said that all the men's faces have been clearly captured on video, and will be released in the next couple days.
"It is a matter of time," Det. North said, addressing the two suspects directly, "before we hunt you down and bring you to justice."
The fatal assault occurred as the bar was closing around 2:30 a.m. According to Det. North, a fight had already started on the street when Julian Jones, who was also engaged to be married, left the bar with his friends. He was separated from the rest of his group, and somehow pulled into the fight. Based on witnesses, Det. North said, "Mr. Jones did absolutely nothing wrong." But he also highlighted the viciousness of the attack. "If you punch somebody in the face, and they fall back and hit their head, and you stomp on their face, there would be no way you would not know the damage that you caused."
Mr. Jones was pronounced dead at hospital. By all accounts, he said, Mr. Jones "was a hard-working, young man, who came to the city to celebrate a happy event." He was attending a bachelor party with a group of friends who were both American and Canadian. The American members of the group, Det. North said, have since returned home to Maryland.
Det. North appealed to the "conscience" of the two suspects to contact police to provide more information. They are both between the ages of 26 and 28, and were wearing black clothes on Saturday morning. One is described as white with black hair and a slim build. Police are describing the second as a black man with a larger build and a full beard. A man, in a red baseball cap, originally identified as a possible suspect is no longer believed to be one, but is still sought for questioning for being part of the larger group that fled the scene.
As for what prompted the attack, Det. North said it is not believed to be either gang related or politically motivated.
Det. North pointed out that Toronto claims to be the safest community in North America. "It is unacceptable as a parent that you raise your children, and you send them out in the community, and they get taken away in a body bag," he said, highlighting the apparent randomness of the attack. "We should be angry as a community and as a society that this happens."