Second-degree murder charges laid in Wasaga Beach stabbing
WASAGA BEACH, ONT. -- Ontario Provincial Police have charged two men with second-degree murder in a deadly weekend stabbing in Wasaga Beach.
Police say 23-year-old Mustafa Khaleel was found dead on Beach Area 1 at about 12:40 a.m Sunday.
A 21-year-old Toronto man and a 25-year-old Brampton man are charged with Khaleel’s death and have been remanded into custody. Police say they are withholding the suspect’s names to protect the integrity of the investigation.
Det.-Inst. Martin Graham says there’s no evidence Khaleel knew his alleged killers before the weekend but says the violence was not random.
“It seems to have occurred between two groups of people that happened to be on the beach late on the evening of Saturday into Sunday,” Graham explains.
Police say there were as many as 30 people on the beach at the time. It’s unclear how many of them may have been involved in the fight and how many were bystanders.
Two other people were hurt in the brawl. While they weren’t stabbed, their injuries were serious enough for trips to the hospital. They were treated and released.
Police have some sense of what was behind the confrontation but are not sharing that information.
A number of people who own and work at businesses near the beachfront describe the weekend violence as rare but not a surprise.
Shawn Harris, manager at the Shore Store, has noticed a change the last two summers. He says fewer families are settling in for a day in the sun, and more younger visitors are getting a little too loose.
“They come, they make a bunch of mistakes, they tear things up, and then they leave,” Harris says. “It’s an amusement park here. But it’s become more volatile.”
Harris and employees at other local businesses believe hostility pent-up during the pandemic may be driving some of the rowdyism.
Harris describes clashes over COVID-19 protocols on the sand.
Several business owners feel an increased presence from OPP or bylaw officers could bring down the temperature.
“Just showing their presence for five-ten minutes—‘we’re here, please don’t destroy our stuff. This is our hometown’,” Harris says.