Detective calls 1st-degree murder charges for 3 teens 'disturbing' and 'shocking'

Detective calls 1st-degree murder charges for 3 teens 'disturbing' and 'shocking'

The 17-year-old who died of a gunshot wound and was found in a car crashed in a wooded area just outside of Hamilton was a high school student who only came to Canada in the past five years.

Police are continuing to investigate the death of Abdulla Hassan, who was pronounced dead after emergency crews were called to Patterson Road in Dundas around 7:35 p.m. Monday about an apparent car crash.

Two 16-year-olds and a 15-year-old arrested after witnesses reported seeing them fleeing from the scene have been charged with first-degree murder.

Police take youth crime seriously

Det.-Sgt. Steve Bereziuk said the fact the victim and accused are so young is "deeply concerning and troubling," even for investigators.

"It's naturally disturbing. It's something that shocks the community. I know it shocks even the officers investigating the incident," he explained.

"Such violent youth crime is difficult. It's something we take very seriously."

The detective would not comment on why the teens were arrested for first-degree murder — a charge that can mean a homicide was allegedly premeditated.

The call that brought police to the scene may have been reporting a car crash, but the officers who arrived on scene quickly realized a collision wasn't what caused the teen's death.

Police say he was killed by a gunshot. A firearm believed to have been used in the homicide has been seized.

Teen moved to Hamilton from the U.A.E.

At this point, not much is known about Hassan. 

Berezuik said the teen and his family came to Canada from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates back in 2014.

It seems like he had a social group of friends that he held dear. - Det.-Sgt. Steve Bereziuk, Hamilton police

The four-door grey sedan Hassan died in belonged to his family, according to the detective.

"At this point the family is naturally very upset," said the detective, adding when he spoke with them "they were nice people despite the terrible circumstances."

The family has asked for privacy so they can grieve.

Berezuik confirmed the 17-year-old was a high school student in Hamilton and said "it seems like he had a social group of friends that he held dear."

Investigators are trying to determine how suspects knew Hassan and why he was shot.

Bereziuk would not comment on how many times the teen was shot or where he was hit.

An autopsy was scheduled to take place Tuesday.

Investigators thank community for tips

Police are still working working to understand what led up to the crash, but Bereziuk previously said he doesn't believe the collision was staged.

The vehicle was found about 18 metres off of the road, where it had rolled down a wodded embankment before stopping in a ditch.

Police thanked the witnesses who reported the crash and provided them with information about the suspects.

"We've received a lot of assistance from the community," said Bereziuk. "The Dundas community clearly has an understanding of ... what goes on in their neighbourhood."

The 17-year-old's death is Hamilton's second homicide so far in 2019.