Boy, 16, assaulted outside Edmonton high school has died from injuries, police say

A 16-year-old boy who was assaulted outside an Edmonton high school earlier this month has died of his injuries.

Student was assaulted outside McNally High School on April 8

On April 8, police received reports of an assault near McNally High School in Edmonton's Forest Heights neighbourhood. The victim, a teenage boy, was rushed to hospital in life-threatening condition. He died Friday. (Craig Ryan/CBC)

A 16-year-old boy who was assaulted outside an Edmonton high school earlier this month has died of his injuries. 

On the afternoon of April 8, Edmonton police responded to an assault outside McNally High School in the Forest Heights neighbourhood.

The victim, a student at the school, was taken to hospital in life-threatening condition.

The boy died from his injuries on Friday, police said in a statement. 

Homicide investigators have taken over the investigation, police said. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday. 

"This tragedy has affected so many, but this is not a time for anger or hatred — this is a time to grieve and heal as a community," said Staff Sgt. Colin Leathem of Edmonton Police Services' homicide section, in a statement.

Investigators have identified a number of youth suspects in the case, police said.

 Edmonton Public School Board superintendent Darryl Robertson expressed his condolences for the boy's family.

"The reality is, whatever answers that we're going to discover in the coming days and weeks are going to fall well short," Robertson said during a news conference on Saturday. "Now needs to be the time for us to come together, as a community."

While speaking with reporters Saturday, Robertson assured parents that Edmonton public schools are safe.

He also voiced his support students affected by the boy's death and said students will be provided access to support services team.

Darrel Robertson, Edmonton Public School Board superintendent, spoke Saturday afternoon about the boy's death. He hopes to community can come together to support each other. (Craig Ryan/CBC)

Rhonda Spence, whose daughter attends McNally High School, said she stunned when she learned of the assault.

She said she was heartbroken by news of the teen's death.

"I didn't know what to think," Spence said.

"Nobody sends their kids to school thinking their kids aren't going to make it back at the end of the day. So my heart is completely broken for the family."

Spence was at the school to pick up her daughter around the same time the assault occurred.

While waiting in her vehicle, Spence said she noticed some students passing by who seemed to be cautiously peering around vehicles before heading to the bus stop.

"I never really thought too much about it," Spence said. "It was just unusual. That day just seemed a little off or different."

When her daughter got in the vehicle, Spence asked her what was going on at the school that day. Her daughter was confused, saying nothing special was happening.

Spence carried on, making the loop to exit the school parking lot. It wasn't until later that she learned the boy had been assaulted. 

She said she was already concerned about her daughter taking public transit to school. She said her daughter likely won't ride the bus again. 

"I want to be able to come here every day to pick her up, just to make sure she's safe."

Police are expected to provide further details on the investigation next week.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers. 

Rhonda Spence says her daughter, a McNally High School student, is shaken by the assault and is now a bit scared to go to school. (Craig Ryan/CBC)


With files from Emily Fitzpatrick