Published Aug 05, 2014Police are investigating two drug-related deaths this weekend during Toronto's Veld Music Festival as homicides, with authorities contemplating charges over the tragic incident.
A media briefing Monday (August 4) with police explained that in addition to the deaths of a 20-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man, 13 other people were injured over the weekend, having ingested what police to believe was a "party drug," Global News/Canadian Press reports. Though it's unclear at present, the authorities suspect the drug sold at the festival could have been MDMA, ecstasy or even a form of GHB. They are seeking help from the public to determine what the substance was.
"This is under the realm of illegal drugs. There are people who probably don't want to come forward or see us," Det. Sgt. Peter Trimble said during an interview on Toronto's The Morning Show. "I'm not concerned about the purchaser of the drugs. I'd like any witness to come forward and talk about who they bought the drugs from on that day or night."
Trimble noted that the two individuals that died over the weekend had ingested the drug and quickly fell ill. Reportedly, the 22-year-old man had been spotted by police being carried by two men before an ambulance was called. The affected individual was allegedly hostile with paramedics and was placed in handcuffs as he entered the ambulance. The cuffs were removed, but the man died en route to hospital.
As to Toronto's authorities decision to investigate the case as a homicide, Trimble said, "This is a criminal action that resulted in the death of two young people."
INK entertainment CEO Charles Khabouth, whose company helped stage Veld, said in a statement of that the "health-related tragedies...sadden us deeply." He added, "We extend our heart-felt condolences to the families and friends of these individuals and will keep them in our prayers."
Khabouth added that safety is a major concern, with the event having employed 280 security guards, 40 medics, a medical doctor, eight paramedics and 26 paid duty officers for the festival.