The fatal shooting of a 17-year-old boy last Friday and the arrest of three teens who have now been charged with first-degree murder has led to grief counsellors being called to “affected schools” this week.
In an email, Simcoe County District School Board communications manager Sarah Kekewich told BarrieToday that the board couldn't provide any information about the shooting because it's an ongoing homicide investigation, but said the board’s grief support teams are assisting anyone who need it.
“I can share that the Simcoe County District School Board traumatic incident response teams are at the affected schools this week. The traumatic incident response teams will remain at the schools, as needed, to offer support, reassurance and specific suggestions for students and staff,” she said.
One woman who lives in the area where the shooting happened said her daughter and her friends all attend Innisdale Secondary School with the victim and have known each other since elementary school.
The shooting took place outside a home on River Ridge Road around 6 p.m., Friday. The victim was located and pronounced dead at the scene from a gunshot wound, according to police.
Neighbourhood residents have said they heard anywhere from eight to 12 shots that night.
On Sunday evening, city police announced they had apprehended three suspects and that no additional suspects were being sought.
The 18-year-old man appeared in WASH (Weekend and Statutory Holiday) Court on Sunday, Nov. 21 and was remanded into custody before his next court appearance, set for Wednesday, Dec. 8.
Two 17-year-old boys are scheduled to appear in bail court Thursday morning.
BarrieToday believes the first arrest, involving the 18-year-old man, was made midday on Saturday in a parking lot at Big Bay Point Road and Yonge Street in the city's south end, not far from where the deadly shooting took place the night before.
The second arrest, a 17-year-old boy, occurred midday on Sunday in a parking lot in the area of St. Vincent Street and Cundles Road East in Barrie's north end.
The third suspect, also a 17-year-old boy, was also taken into custody Sunday, but it's unknown how and where that arrest happened.
Barrie police have said all three arrests were done without incident.
All three suspects have been charged with first-degree murder. The names of the 17-year-olds are protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, while police say they will not release the 18-year-old's name because it could identify his co-accused.
Police have declined to confirm the name of the deceased, but one neighbourhood resident said the victim had lived at the home where the shooting took place "for many years."
An autopsy has been completed, but Barrie police communications co-ordinator Peter Leon told BarrieToday that “due to the evidentiary nature of the forensic post-mortem, we will not be speaking to it” and that it will “form part of the evidence that will be presented in court when the matter goes to trial.”
Friday's fatal shooting marked the city's first homicide in two years.