Woman, 31, identified in fatal High Park subway stabbing, man charged with murder

Police confirm the deadly stabbing attack at the High Park Subway station was an act of random violence. Shauna Hunt with what we know about the victims and the suspect as calls grow louder for a safer TTC.

By Lucas Casaletto

Toronto police have identified a 31-year-old woman fatally stabbed at High Park subway station and have charged a man with first-degree murder, noting the suspect and victim did not know each other.

Authorities were called to the TTC station around 2 p.m. on Thursday for reports of a double stabbing.

A man entered the subway car and stabbed two women, who were rushed to a hospital. Police said the suspect was quickly apprehended and taken into custody at the scene.

One woman was pronounced dead, while a second victim, a 37-year-old woman, was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and later released.

On Friday, the deceased woman was identified as 31-year-old Vanessa Kurpiewska of Toronto.

Police confirmed that the suspect and both women were not known to each other.

RELATED: 1 woman dead, another injured in stabbing at High Park subway station

Police have charged 52-year-old Neng Jia Jin of Toronto with first-degree murder and attempted murder. He made a court appearance via video link on Friday, however, a publication ban prevents us from reporting any of the details of that appearance. Jin was remanded into custody and will make another court appearance on Dec. 14.

One transit user who witnessed the incident described the chaotic scene with people screaming and scrambling for safety while a man wielded an object described as an “ice-pick.”

John, a CityNews Toronto employee, was riding the subway when it happened and said he heard a disturbance on the train as it approached the station.

“I saw a woman rush past me and into the next car and then a commotion at the other end of the train, children crying and some women screaming,” he said.

Toronto Mayor John Tory called what happened “a tragedy” but said the city’s transit system was still safe for riders.

“It was a horrific event,” he said during an unrelated press conference Friday. “I don’t underestimate that at all, but the TTC remains a very safe system that moves millions of people every day.”

Tory pledged to meet next week with the city’s police chief and the chief executive of the Toronto Transit Commission to discuss what else could be done to bolster transit safety.

The mayor said the TTC had already taken steps before the attack to increase the presence of transit constables, outreach workers and police. Tory said he’s in ongoing discussions about increasing the budget to boost their presence.

But, he said, transit safety is also a mental health issue.

At the news conference Friday alongside provincial and federal ministers, Tory said all three orders of government must do more to increase mental health supports.

“We’re dropping the ball collectively, but most of it is part of the health-care system,” he said.

Tory said more investments needed to be made so people in crisis “have somewhere to go other than wander up and down subway cars.”

The double-stabbing was the latest among several violent incidents on city transit this year. A woman died after she was lit on fire while on a city bus in June, and another woman was pushed onto the subway tracks at a major station earlier this year, among other cases.

Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report

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