ACT Policing is investigating an altercation between two groups in the early hours of Sunday morning (27 September) that resulted in the stabbing death of an 18-year-old male at a skatepark in Weston. One of the groups is from NSW.
Leading the investigation, Detective Superintendent Scott Moller said a white Toyota car with NSW number plates is being forensically examined, along with other evidence found at the scene.
Det Supt Moller said a number of people have come forward following the incident and investigators were “very close” to making an arrest over the death of the 18-year-old. He is reportedly a talented soccer player from the region and was playing regularly in a State league competition in Sydney.
“The investigation is heading in the right direction,” Det Supt Moller told Region Media.
He also said that about 12 youths fled the skatepark following the incident that led to a triple-zero call being made requesting police and ambulance assistance.
Det Insp Moller also said the fight was not related to rival gangs of youths from within the ACT or the surrounding region.
The incident occurred at about 1:00 am on Sunday when the 18-year-old and a 16-year-old, who were known to each other, were involved in a fight. Both were stabbed by another youth who is yet to be arrested. It is understood the fight was the result of an argument that began earlier on Saturday night (26 September).
The 16-year-old who received serious stab wounds is recovering well in hospital.
Det Supt Moller said investigators had spoken with several people who were at the skatepark at the time of the fight and urged anyone with information to come forward.
“We know there were about 12 people there, so should you have been involved in the fight, now is the time to come forward,” he said.
“I recognise this death is distressing for our community, and there may be families who are concerned about their son’s or daughter’s possible involvement. If you think someone in your family or your friend was involved, the best thing to do is to come to us. Don’t wait for us to knock on your door.”
Police will be doorknocking the Weston Creek area during the next three days. The investigation has already been assisted by AFP Search and Rescue and the ACT State Emergency Service, who have searched the area surrounding the skatepark for evidence.
Police are also looking at a significant amount of CCTV footage covering the area where the fight took place and encouraged businesses nearby to review their footage from Saturday and Sunday morning.
“It is still early enough for anyone who saw anything or was involved to come forward and talk to us to let us know what happened,” Det Supt Moller said.
“This is a very serious incident and we will follow every investigative lead until we find the person responsible for the stabbing and put them before the court.”
He said those involved were of various ages, from adolescents to adults.
“I’d encourage these people to tell the truth and that we’ll work with them and work through the details they provide. The important thing is that everybody who has been involved comes forward.
“This is absolutely not gang-related. I’ve not seen any information or evidence to say that this is gang-related,” Det Supt Moller said.
He also said it was concerning that the youths had chosen to gather at the skatepark at such an early hour of the morning.
“It’s incumbent on all of us as parents to know where our children are. We’ve got to supervise our children and know what they are up to and intervene when we need to intervene.”
Members of the Weston Creek community have also renewed their pleas for a greater police presence in the area following a number of incidents including robberies and assaults.