York police have charged an 18-year-old male and two youths in connection with a fatal shooting at an after-prom party in Whitchurch-Stouffville last week.
Jahdea Paterson, 18, faces a first-degree murder charge. Police issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for Paterson on Wednesday and he was apprehended overnight, according to York police Insp. Thai Truong . He remains in custody and is scheduled to appear at a bail hearing in a Newmarket court later today.
A 17-year-old male from Newmarket has also been charged with first-degree murder, and a 16-year-old from Richmond Hill male with accessory after the fact to murder. Both youths were previously charged with firearms-related offences for another incident that occurred the same day of the shooting. Their identities are protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Police were initially called to a rural residence on Bloomington Road E. in Whitchurch-Stouffville in the early morning hours of May 3 for reports of a shooting. They found Rizwaan Wadee, 18, suffering from a gunshot wound on the second floor of the home. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Truong said that investigators believe Wadee was killed around 3:45 a.m. Officers arrived at the residence, which had been rented on Airbnb, approximately 20 minutes after the shooting occurred, Truong said.
Hundreds of people from around the GTA attended the party, but when police got to the scene, the house had completely emptied, he said.
“Not a single person that we know about tried to assist Mr. Wadee or stayed on scene,” he told reporters at a news conference at York police headquarters.
Truong said that the three accused arrived to the party in a group of “six to eight people” around 12:30 a.m. Investigators “have a theory” about what occurred before Wadee was shot, Truong said, though they do not believe that the three in custody and Wadee knew each other.
York police have set up an online portal where the public can upload photos or video of the party. Truong said despite the fact that hundreds of people were there, investigators have only been given one video since their probe began.
“We know many people had social media active that evening,” he said.
Anyone who attended the party, especially those who may have been there from 12:30 a.m. onward, are asked to contact York police.
Youths arrested morning of shooting
The two youths charged in Wadee’s killing were arrested by officers about 90 minutes after the shooting. The pair had been knocking on doors on Bethesda Side Road several kilometres from the house, asking residents to call them a taxi.
A homeowner who thought their behaviour was suspicious contacted police. After about an hour of searching, police found the two males hiding in bushes. Firearms were recovered nearby, Truong said.
Both were initially charged with five gun-related charges, including possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and tampering with a serial number.
Investigators previously said they had not established a connection between the pair and Wadee’s killing. Truong did not elaborate on how police came to charge them in his death.