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Friday, May 14, 2021

16-year-old charged with murder following Weston skate park brawl

A 16-year-old boy will face court today charged with murder stemming from a “large gathering” of teenagers and young adults at Weston skate park late last month for a pre-arranged fight.

The 27 September brawl resulted in an 18-year-old man being stabbed to death, and a 16-year-old boy being left in a serious condition.

ACT Policing detective superintendent Scott Muller said “numerous young people were engaged in threatening behaviour online” that had gone on for some time prior to the fight being arranged.

“We allege then that a large group of young people then gathered and at that time a 16-year-old boy armed himself with a knife and stabbed the victim multiple times,” he said.

“This has been a tragic and traumatic incident for everyone involved, we’ve got a family that’s deeply grieving the loss of their son, and we’ve got another family that will be potentially facing lifelong consequences for what happened on that evening.

“It’s deeply distressing for everyone involved … ultimately and tragically a man has lost his life.”

As the investigation into the Weston murder continues to unfold detective superintendent Muller said he expects more “serious” charges to be laid.

“I absolutely expect more people will be charged and there will be further charges laid … they’ll be serious charges and that’s part of the ongoing complexity of this investigation,” he said.

“We’ve had lots of cooperation from many people we’ve spoken to and I’m encouraged by that, but certainly there are people out there who know what has occurred and haven’t spoken to the police yet.

“I’d encourage them to come forward.”

He added numerous weapons had been recovered and tested, and they will continue to do so if they come across any additional materials.

With cyberbullying now a “part of the community” and an engrained part of society more broadly, detective superintendent Muller said this incident serves as an opportunity for parents and trusted adults to talk to young people about their online behaviour.

“It’s ongoing in all facets of our community. The important part of this is that we reach our young people and give them somebody to talk to,” he said.

“Cyber abuse and cyber bullying can quickly intensify in scale and nature and feel deeply personal, it can be really hard but try not to respond. Turn the phone off.

“If you’re a parent with teenage children out there like I am, I’d encourage you to talk to them about what they’re doing online.

“It’s incumbent upon all of us to intervene in situations like this.”

The 16-year-old boy also stabbed at the incident according to detective superintendent Muller is “recovering well”.

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