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Gay man murdered in downtown Toronto

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Gay man murdered in downtown Toronto

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Police release security video and more details
Did you see the attack against Chris Skinner? Your part of the story is critical. Please contact Xtra.

UPDATE 25 OCT 11pm -
An estimated 1,000 people gathered at Church and Wellesley Sts to hold a vigil and march for Chris Skinner. Read more and check out our photo gallery above .

UPDATE 24 OCT 12 pm -
Toronto police have released new video this morning of the moments before the attack against Chris Skinner.

Check it out here. 
 
UPDATE 23 OCT 1 pm -
A candlelight vigil has been planned for Sun, Oct 25, 8pm at Church & Wellesley. See the Facebook Event for details.

UPDATE 22 OCT 5 pm - 
Police released more details of their investigation into the Oct 18 slaying of 27-year-old gay man Chris Skinner.

Skinner was walking home on Adelaide St from a birthday party for his sister in the Entertainment district when he was “assaulted by between two and four males,” det Stacey Gallant, the lead investigator on the case said in an Oct 22 press conference.

“He was beaten to the ground and kicked when he was on the ground,” before the attackers returned to their black SUV. Once in the car, they “ran over Mr Skinner with both the front and rear tires. They accelerated the car away from the scene and continued to go east on Adelaide St.”

Several eyewitnesses have come forward to police and provided detailed accounts of the incident. Police believe the driver deliberately ran over Skinner.

The driver of the SUV is described as “male with light skin, short hair in a military style, wearing a tight black tank top, similar to an undershirt.”

The make, model, and licence number of the SUV are still unknown, but it is described as black with a light coloured tan or grey interior and having high-intensity headlights. Video of the SUV approaching the crime scene was shown at the press conference.

Police continue to search through security videos culled from their own CCTV cameras in the Entertainment District and from other businesses along Adelaide as far east as the DVP. They say they captured images of both Skinner and the SUV minutes before the attack began.

Gallant also told reporters that police are not treating the murder as a hate crime.

“We have explored that possibility and we don’t have any evidence to corroborate that,” he says. “As the investigation goes forward, if that comes up again we will investigate that,” suggesting that the fight could also have started as a traffic dispute.

“There was a lot of construction on Adelaide. [Skinner] may have been walking in the roadway and bumped into the car and they may have taken offence to that,” Gallant said.

Gallant appealed to any other witnesses to come forward, noting that video evidence suggests that a number of taxi drivers may have seen the attack against Skinner as they drove past.

He also appealed to anyone involved in the crime to turn themselves in to police.

“We know there were at least one, two, or three people in the car with him. If it was [the driver’s] decision alone to run over Skinner, then it’s all going to fall on him. If the others in the car had some influence over that, then they are just as culpable as he is. They are all culpable for the assault that happened outside of the vehicle,” Gallant said.

Skinner's funeral was today at a private ceremony in Uxbridge, his hometown.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Stacy Gallant at 416−808−7410 and Detective Doug Dunstan at 416−808−7406, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416−222−8477 or online at www.222tips.com. And Xtra


UPDATE 20 OCT 8am -
Ryan Cooke didn’t know that his fiancé had been brutally murdered seven hours earlier when he posted on his Facebook page: “HEY...does anyone know where Chris is?” at 10:04am on Sun Oct 18.

Cooke had lost his phone and no one could reach him. Police had been called to the corner of Adelaide St E and Victoria St at 3:05am by several eyewitnesses who had seen Cooke’s fiancé Chris Skinner attacked by a group of men who beat him to the ground then ran over him with an SUV. Skinner was taken to hospital where he died of his injuries.

Skinner is the 43rd homicide of 2009 in the city of Toronto. Hours earlier, Skinner and Cooke had been celebrating Skinner’s sister’s birthday in the entertainment district. Skinner decided to leave the party and walk home alone. Details of the attack are being kept under wraps as the police investigation continues, but it is known that Skinner got into an altercation with the occupants of a black SUV before he was beaten, and that after running him over the attackers fled east on Adelaide in their SUV.

The number of attackers has not been confirmed, but it is believed there were at least two and possibly three or four. The make and model of the SUV and its licence plate number were not yet known, but police will be combing over surveillance video from the area to see if it can be determined.

Friends of Skinner suspect that the killing may have been a hate crime, but police haven’t drawn that conclusion.

“No, there’s not at all any indication that there were homophobic elements to the attack,” says Det Stacey Gallant.

But that doesn’t sit well with Skinner’s friends who are struggling to find a motive for the murder.

"Not a single person who knows him would say that he would cause a ruckus,” says Skinner’s long-time friend Craig Lund, “but he would stand up for himself if he was called on anything. I find that Toronto Police very rarely jump to the conclusion that homophobia exists.”

Skinner, 27, lived with Cooke and they planned to get married next summer. He worked as a graphic designer at Endeavour Marketing. Cooke could not be reached for comment at press time.
 
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Stacy Gallant at 416−808−7410 and Detective Doug Dunstan at 416−808−7406, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416−222−8477 or online at www.222tips.com. And Xtra 


OCT 19 Xtra.ca Staff - The Toronto Police Service reports that 27-year-old Chris Skinner was killed in the early morning hours of Oct 18.

Police were called to the Adelaide St E and Victoria St area at 3 am to investigate a report of an injured pedestrian.

Police said in a press release that an altercation took place between Skinner and the occupants of a black SUV. Skinner was knocked to the ground. The attackers then returned to their vehicle and ran Skinner over with it.

Police say the SUV fled eastbound on Adelaide St. Skinner was taken to hospital where he died.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477 and Xtra.

Xtra will update as information becomes available.
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Comments

Why there was no ASL interpretation at the Vigil!
I’m saddened by this horrible tragedy that Chris was murdered by these guys because I never understand why they do it to him, and they must have to be brought to justice. My sympathies go out to Chris’ family and friends.

I feel sad and angry to learn that the Vigil organizers didn’t even bother to find American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation in the first place so that Deaf who are also in the part of our LGBTTIQQ2S communities wanted to attend there by showing our supports and respects to Chris’ family and friends so that Deaf people can feel being part of this important vigil with the solidarity of the LGBTTIQQ2S communities through no communication barrier.

LGBTTIQQ2S communities that include Deaf people, we come together to show our solidarity for fighting against homophobia and hate crime that happened in Toronto. Without ASL interpretation at the Vigil, how can we as Deaf people join with them to show our solidarity in this LGBTTIQQ2S communities if we do not understand what were these speakers talked about it?

Again, I wanted to express my sympathies to Chris’ family and friends and I would like to ask to all LGBTTIQQ2S leaders that in the future vigils if someone is murdered by hate crime or any crime that relates against our LGBTTIQQ2S; please provide ASL interpretation so that we, Deaf people, can attend to show our respects, sympathies and support!

Thank you!
Turn yourselves in !
We need to reach out to the guys responsable for Chris Skinners death , one of you must feel so guilty & remorseful at this time , u realy should come forward
even? if just one of you , You are in Canada , your not going to get a death sentence , You can't hide for ever
Talk to a lawyer , talk to your Mom , does your Mom know what you did ? I am sure it would break her heart ! Even more so if you didn't turn yourself in , A Mom will always love her son !

I'am YouTube's Orphan Gordie
how?
Robert, how do we catch them first?

fliers downtown?
Justice Beckons All of Us
LISTEN HERE!!!! The important issue at hand right now is not to focus on what the news/police are doing to cover up the fact that this may have been a gay bash, but to focus on catching these losers.

We need to catch them first!

Than and only than on their court date, when these 3 or 4 murderers are on trial - we as a community should rush to the courts, sit on the front lawn and demand the most severe punishment the law can give them for this evil act.
The (GLBT) Village Still Needed
As a longtime human rights activist of the GLBT community in Toronto I can share that terrible violence against gay, lesbian, bi & transgendered persons is tragically NOT uncommon in large cities and small towns across this land."Out of the closets & into the streets" people!In the gay 90's we chnged the laws for equal rights for lgbt folk.We need to speak the truth in love,AGAIN,that HEARTS may also be transformed.Evil flourishes when good souls do nothing.This is a call for good-minded people to speak out.Under Julian Fantino we saw the T.O. Police start initiatives to counter hatred incidents against gay folk.The Toronto Police are better than most in trying to protect our people.I have faith that they WILL find the perps & bring them to justice;but we MUST watch out for each other/help & protect each other.Much can be done when good people muster their courage & stand together.Good people, let none of us, any of us do to another, what has been done to us.The power of Love is stronger than hate.Just one ray of light causes the darkness to dissipate.We still need The Village-a place of safety for glbt folk to feel safe and free. The truth is that we now need to make sure that there is at least one GLBT VILLAGE/Street in every town & city in N America where our people can gather & remember where we've come from(Stonewall), how far we've come, and how far we still need to go in making this land a place where ALL people are welcome, respected, honored & dignified.Please Speak Out against ALL of the DAILY, SUBTLE homophobia,sexism,racism,&violence & the blatant acts of hatred will diminish. Take care of the "pennies" & the "loonies" will take care of themselves.Dominant Media: We Need You To Cover This Now,Because It IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.Stand in good conscience with us now.Gay & Straight folk: Unite in respect &
We Walk Free
Living up the street from where Chris was killed; I walk that intersection daily. I cross this intersection sometimes for work or cross it as I go to Union Station to catch a train to go home and visit my family. Crossing that intersection will never be the same for me and I know many other people will feel the same way about this crossroad. The crossroad that took a friend, who's smile glowed, away.
Chris was very bright and respected by many people, including myself, who have crossed paths with Chris on Church St. or at a friends house party or around the world.
I believe the world morns for Chris because we are all one. We are all connected somehow and Chris's death hurts us all.
People that hate. People that attack and people that kill should never be on our streets. The sad reality is that the world has always had this hate in it and on our streets - The same streets I walk with love.
We need to stay strong and not be afraid of these monsters who share life with us or they win!
These monsters share a gift of life that I wish was never shared to the person(s) that killed Chris.
I will never forget attending his Vigil. Pray for his family and friends. Pray they find these men who don't deserve to be on our Canadian streets.
On our streets, in Toronto, we walk free.
Good Police Work
Well , I think the police are doing a good job here
we better just go with the " Tap Tap Motive " for now . The police must have a reason for saying that , It may be in fact wrong ! HA ! Orphan Gordie doesn't even know how to turn the TV on ! I lit my candles here in Vancouver , and some of my friends did as well , Hugs u all !
A little thought
Orphan Gordie

If Skinner's hand inadvertently brushed the SUV in motion (most likely while trying to hail a cab) then it will be hard to prove it was a hate crime. Could the hand brushing the SUV have gotten the attention of the driver who then realized Skinner was gay and proceeded to beat him for it? at this point its hard to tell, the Police are focusing on making an arrest - after that is done then is the time to pressure the Police to rule out hate. But if brushing someone's moving SUV with your hand is a motive to beat a person severely and run them over this is a crime not just focused on a gay person but also a pedestrian and fellow citizen, either way the driver who committed this murder needs to be held accountable for his actions.
Chris Provoked attackers by Tapping ?
Full Site
News Headlines

Investigators say hate crime not reason for Christopher Skinner's death

680News staff 2009-10-25 01:46
The latest in the investigation into last weekend's murder of a 27-year-old Christopher Skinner, says the actions were not those of a hate crime, but were provoked by the victim tapping on the suspects vehicle while attempting to hail a cab.

Do u buy this crap ?
This horrible trag kicks us in the gut as gay men
Good suggestion Gary but Det Stacey GAllant did that the other day on CITY-TV very effectively--trying to get to the conscience of one of the passengers and if they cooperated they might not be charged. And the media has been covering this more than other murders this week. (e.g. A twenty something black man). Remember it took nine months or so before they made an arrest in the Janko case--and of course they later lost that case. So effective homicide case work takes time and patience and ingenuity. This horrible tragedy kicks us in the gut as gay men in Toronto, but the homicide department seems to be doing their job and remember it is still very early in their investigation.
And the vigil and xtra coverage and letters like yours will keep the pressure on them.

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