3 teens charged with murder after body found in car in Hamilton, Ont.
Published Tuesday, April 16, 2019 11:55AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 16, 2019 8:09PM EDT
Three teens are each facing a first-degree murder charge after a 17-year-old boy was found dead in a car that appeared to have left the road in Hamilton, Ont.
Hamilton police say officers were called to a wooded area on Monday evening following reports of a car crash. Once police arrived, they found the body of 17-year-old Abdalla Hassan inside. Paramedics tried to revive the boy, but proved unsuccessful.
A post-mortem indicated Hassan -- who moved to Canada from Dubai with his family in 2014 -- was killed by a gunshot wound. Officers would not elaborate where he had been shot or how many times.
Police say two 16-year-old boys and a 15-year-old boy were arrested after being seen fleeing the area.
“It’s disturbing,” Det. Sgt. Steve Bereziuk with Hamilton police’s homicide squad told reporters on Tuesday. “I think the question that everybody asks is: ‘Why?’ We certainly want to know why and it's concerning for us.”
Officers also found a firearm near the crime scene, which they believe was used in the murder.
The three teens -- whose identities are protected through the Youth Criminal Justice Act -- appeared in court separately on Tuesday afternoon and have each been charged with first-degree murder and remain in custody.
CTV Toronto’s Nick Dixon was in the courthouse and reported that one of the boys appeared stressed and was rubbing his eyes. The other two appeared calm through their hearing.
The father of one of the boys sat in court and listened to the proceedings, but didn’t say anything as he left the building. He was the only family member to visit the courthouse on Tuesday.
Police say the boys had some sort of a relationship with Hassan, although it’s not clear what that relationship was. Officers would not confirm whether the teens were in the car at the time of the crash, only that the car belonged to Hassan’s family.
Police have said the incident appears to be targeted, meaning there is no risk to the public. Officers are not looking for any additional suspects.
Those who live near the crime scene are left shocked by the incident.
“This is really scary for us because nobody’s really done this around our area,” said Meghan Baird.
Hassan’s family has requested privacy as they grieve and have declined to provide an image of their son.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Det. Ben Adams at 905-546-3836 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Nick Dixon and with files from The Canadian Press