WASAGA BEACH, ONT. –
The Ontario Provincial Police have charged two men with second degree murder in a fatal stabbing at the weekend in Wasaga Beach.
Police said Mustafa Khaleel, 23, was found dead on Beach 1 around 12:40 am Sunday.
A 21-year-old man from Toronto and a 25-year-old man from Brampton are charged with Khaleel’s death and have been remanded in custody. Police said they were withholding the names of the suspect to protect the integrity of the investigation.
Retail-Inst. Martin Graham says there is no evidence Khaleel knew of his suspected killers until the weekend, but says the violence was not random.
“It seems to have happened between two groups of people who were on the beach late in the evening from Saturday to Sunday,” Graham explains.
Police said there were up to 30 people on the beach at the time. It is not known how many of them may have been involved in the fight and how many were spectators.
Two other people were injured in the fight. Although they were not stabbed, their injuries were severe enough to make it to hospital. They were treated and released.
The police have an idea of what is behind the confrontation, but do not share this information.
A number of people who own and work in businesses near the waterfront describe weekend violence as rare but not surprising.
Shawn Harris, director of the Shore Store, has noticed a change in the past two summers. He says fewer families are settling in for a day in the sun and more young visitors are getting a little too cowardly.
“They come, they make a bunch of mistakes, they tear things up, and then they leave,” Harris says. “It’s an amusement park here. But it has become more volatile.
Harris and workers at other local businesses believe pent-up hostility during the pandemic may be the root of the heckling.
Harris describes clashes over COVID-19 protocols on the sand.
Many business owners believe that an increased presence of the OPP or municipal officers could bring the temperature down.
“I’m just showing their presence for five to ten minutes – we’re here, please don’t destroy our things.” This is our hometown, ”says Harris.