What started as an investigation into an apparent car crash Monday evening ended with Hamilton police charging three teens with first-degree murder.
Police said they found 17-year-old Abdalla Hassan inside the vehicle, dead from a gunshot wound.
Investigators wouldn’t say how many times he’d been shot, but they have found what they believe is the gun that was used.
Two 16-year-olds and a 15-year-old have been charged and were to appear in court Tuesday.
Police were called to Patterson Road and Wesley Avenue in the Dundas area of Hamilton around 7:35 p.m. ET after a witness reported seeing a vehicle leave the road and crash into a densely wooded area.
Quickly became suspicious
It continued another 15 to 18 metres off the road before it stopped in a ditch, according to Det. Sgt. Steve Bereziuk.
The initial call was about a car crash, but Bereziuk said police quickly became suspicious that wasn’t what caused the teen’s death.
“It certainly had the appearance of a collision to start with,” said the detective. “[But] as the patrol officer began his investigation at the scene, he quickly realized it wasn’t adding up, and the evidence wasn’t consistent with that.
“That crash would not have killed anybody.”
Witnesses had reported seeing three males flee the area. Bereziuk said the major crimes unit was called in, and police quickly arrested three teens matching the description not far from the crash scene.
No other suspects
The investigation is continuing, but Bereziuk said at this point police aren’t searching for any more suspects.
“We believe we have everybody involved.”
Bereziuk said police are also trying to learn how the four teenagers involved in the incident knew each other.
“Where did these people stand with each other? We’re still looking at the relationship … but we do believe this was targeted, not a random act.”
“Abdalla’s family has requested privacy as they grieve the loss of their son,” police said in a release.
The 17-year-old’s death marks the second homicide in Hamilton so far in 2019.