An 18-year-old man and two teenage boys are facing charges in the fatal shooting of a teenager at a prom after-party in Whitchurch-Stouffville.
Rizwaan Aboobakar Wadee, 18, was killed last Friday at a party at an Airbnb rental on Bloomington Road just after 4 a.m.
Police said a 16 year old and a 17 year old were arrested a short time later after someone reported two males had been knocking on doors looking for someone to call them a taxi. When officers arrived, they found the two teens hiding in the bushes and they were arrested. A handgun was located nearby. Further investigation determined they were connected to the shooting.
Police said they had multiple firearms on them at the time of their arrest.
The 17-year-old has been charged with first-degree murder. The 16-year-old has been charged with accessory after the fact. Both are from Toronto.
On Wednesday, a Canada-wide warrant was issued for Jahdea Paterson, 18, of Toronto. Police said he turned himself in that evening and will face a charge of first-degree murder.
No further suspects are being sought.
Investigators are still trying to piece together just what happened that night.
“We don’t have any information that the victim had known the three that are charged for the incident prior to that evening,” Insp. Thai Truong said.
Police said Wadee was already at the party when the suspects, who were friends of another guest, arrived in a group of about six to eight people around midnight.
Four hours later the victim was shot.
Police said there were about 400 kids from around the region, and outside of the region, at the party that evening.
Truong said when shots rang out, everyone fled the scene and when the first officers arrived at the home, about 20 minutes later, Wadee was the only one in the house. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Not a single person, that we know about, had tried to assist Mr. Wadee or stayed on scene,” he explained.
Bill Dick, a British Columbia-based personal injury lawyer who has led seminars on the risks associated with graduation and prom parties, said the shooting death of Wadee marks the worst-case scenario many industry watchers have been bracing for.
“This is the ‘what if,'” Dick said. “This is the tragedy. Someone who wants to involve themselves in the sharing economy can end up in this kind of a nightmare scenario.”
Airbnb called the incident a “senseless tragedy” and said safety was its priority.
“There is no place on Airbnb for such an abhorrent act, which violates everything our Canadian community stands for,” it said in a statement, noting that it was ready to work with local police.
Dick noted questions around liability are still very much evolving in the context of Airbnb rentals.
He said that while there is little to no case law involving injuries sustained on properties rented through Airbnb or similar organizations, the courts have made it clear that property owners do owe a “duty of care” to any minors who come to harm on their grounds.
“Airbnb is supposed to do the vetting, which does insulate the home-owners to some extent in the sense that if they don’t know there are minors on the property they can’t be responsible,” Dick said. “But the real issue is how much vetting does Airbnb do?”
York Region police have set up a link on their website for anyone at the party to upload video or photos from that night.
Wadee was a high school student at Maple High School, according to the York Region District School Board. The prom after-party was for students who attended Bill Crothers Secondary School in Markham.
Watch the full update below.
Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report