Toronto

Man, 38, charged with 1st-degree murder in fatal Scarborough machete attack

A 38-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder after a woman, who was attacked with a machete, died in Toronto's Scarborough neighbourhood, police say.

Tharshika Jeganathan, 27, died of her injuries Wednesday evening in Toronto neighbourhood

Police have charged 38-year-old Toronto man Sasikaran Thanapalasingam with first-degree murder after a woman died in a machete attack Wednesday evening. (Pam Davies/CBC)

A 38-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder after a woman, who was attacked with a machete, died in Toronto's Scarborough neighbourhood, police say.

The shocking attack, witnessed by several people in the Scarborough neighbourhood of Morrish and Ellesmere roads, happened around 6:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday evening.

"Witnesses observed a male suspect running around, chasing a female victim with a machete," said Insp. Stacey Davis on Thursday morning.

When officers arrived, they located Tharshika Jeganathan, 27, who succumbed to her injuries on the scene.

"Obviously, it was a machete so there were substantial injuries to the female victim," Davis said. 

Police tape is set up in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough on Thursday morning. (Linda Ward/CBC)

Davis told reporters that Toronto resident Sasikaran Thanapalasingam drove to the nearby 42 Division police station and surrendered around 7 p.m. Wednesday. He and Jeganathan had a "previous domestic relationship," Davis said.

On Thursday afternoon, Thanapalasingam appeared in court wearing an orange jumpsuit. He only spoke to say his name. He is slated to be back in court in Scarborough on Sept. 18.

'We could have done something about it'

Local resident Aamir Farooqi ​​​​said he saw a man holding a woman's shoulders while they were arguing.

"They were arguing about something — I thought it was like a regular thing what goes on, so I didn't pay much attention," Farooqi said. "If I knew that this was going to happen, we could have done something about it, but you never know."

Witnesses say a man and a woman were seen arguing on this street near Morrish and Ellesmere on Wednesday evening. Police say the man struck the woman repeatedly with a machete. She later died. (John Grierson/CBC)

Blanche Barretto said she and her husband only saw the aftermath of the incident, which included seeing the body of the woman lying on the ground.

"It was sad. We were so disturbed all night. We haven't slept," she said.

On Thursday morning, a fire crew could be seen hosing down the parts of the street where the attack happened.

That included Naz Khan's driveway. Jeganathan's body was found right by her car, which was also covered in blood, Khan said.

Firefighters can be seen hosing down the section of the sidewalk where the attack happened. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

"I was devastated when I heard," Khan told CBC News.

"I can't believe that's what happened.… My mind is still boggling, thinking 'Why would this guy do something like that?'"

The homicide unit is investigating, police say.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident or the two people involved to come forward. 

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