A Toronto man was charged with second-degree murder after he allegedly stabbed to death a 28-year-old man near the York University campus in Toronto Tuesday. Neighbors told police the stabbing was fuelled by a repetitive argument over religion.
The victim, identified as 28-year-old Alp Efe, was pronounced dead after arriving at Humber River Hospital. According to Efe's Linkedin profile, he was an architectural technology student until this year at Sheridan College, who had lived in Turkey, worked in real estate and construction. Alijan Khan, 31, was the man charged regarding the attack. Toronto police confirmed that the suspect and the victim knew each other, reports CTV News.
The stabbing occurred in the Village at York University shortly after midnight. According to neighbors, a group of guys were standing around the porch from about 4 p.m. on Monday afternoon, a normal occurrence. "I heard them still out there at 11 and I heard one guy say, 'Oh no it's because you're Arabic,' and the other guy was like, 'No it's not, it was your people,'" Megan Griffith, a neighbor who lives nearby, told CTV Toronto.
According to residents who lived near the two men, the gatherings always started off friendly before they started drinking and having the same religious and political argument they'd had three or four times in the past week.
"Some guy's been trying to say that Muslims are bad and the other guy's been trying to say, 'You guys are bad,'" said Fateh Sandhu, another neighbor. According to Sandhu, the argument usually escalated as the night went on and ended with someone either storming off or trying to start a fight.
One witness said that one of the men from the gathering left the house after the argument Tuesday morning but ended up returning.
Sandhu told the Toronto Sun he checked the situation around midnight when he heard a lot of noise, and was trying to go back to sleep when it suddenly became quiet. He went outside to investigate and saw the neighbors' front yard littered with beer cans. Then he said he heard someone inside a nearby house frantically yelling, "He's not breathing."
"The man wasn't conscious," Sandhu said. "It looked like he was stabbed multiple times."
John Higgins, a man who identified himself as the suspect's roommate, said police arrived at his home looking for the suspect on Tuesday morning and arrested him for second-degree murder. "They asked me to step back in my room and then they informed (my roommate) that he was being arrested," Higgins told CTV Toronto. "They read him his rights, asked him if he understood it and he said, 'Yeah.'"
Efe became the victim of Toronto's 50th homicide of this year.