Ryan Cooke didn’t know that his fiancé had been brutally murdered seven hours earlier when he posted on his Facebook page:
“HEY…does anyone know where Chris is?” at 10:04am on Sun Oct 18.
Cooke had lost his phone and no one could reach him. Police had been called to the corner of Adelaide St E and Victoria St at 3:05am by several eyewitnesses who had seen Cooke’s fiancé Chris Skinner attacked by a group of men who beat him to the ground then ran over him with an SUV. Skinner was taken to hospital where he died of his injuries.
Skinner is the 43rd homicide of 2009 in the city of Toronto. Hours earlier, Skinner and Cooke had been celebrating Skinner’s sister’s birthday in the entertainment district. Skinner decided to leave the party and walk home alone. Details of the attack are being kept under wraps as the police investigation continues, but it is known that Skinner got into an altercation with the occupants of a black SUV before he was beaten, and that after running him over the attackers fled east on Adelaide in their SUV.
The number of attackers has not been confirmed, but it is believed there were at least two and possibly three or four. The make and model of the SUV and its licence plate number were not yet known, but police will be combing over surveillance video from the area to see if it can be determined.
Friends of Skinner suspect that the killing may have been a hate crime, but police haven’t drawn that conclusion.
“No, there’s not at all any indication that there were homophobic elements to the attack,” says Det Stacey Gallant.
But that doesn’t sit well with Skinner’s friends who are struggling to find a motive for the murder.
“Not a single person who knows him would say that he would cause a ruckus,” says Skinner’s long-time friend Craig Lund, “but he would stand up for himself if he was called on anything. I find that Toronto Police very rarely jump to the conclusion that homophobia exists.”
Skinner, 27, lived with Cooke and they planned to get married next summer. He worked as a graphic designer at Endeavour Marketing. Cooke could not be reached for comment at press time.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Stacy Gallant at 416−808−7410 and Detective Doug Dunstan at 416−808−7406, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416−222−8477 or online at http://www.222tips.com. And Xtra here.
OCT 19 Xtra.ca Staff –
The Toronto Police Service reports that 27-year-old Chris Skinner was killed in the early morning hours of Oct 18.
Police were called to the Adelaide St E and Victoria St area at 3 am to investigate a report of an injured pedestrian.
Police said in a press release that an altercation took place between Skinner and the occupants of a black SUV. Skinner was knocked to the ground. The attackers then returned to their vehicle and ran Skinner over with it.
Police say the SUV fled eastbound on Adelaide St. Skinner was taken to hospital where he died.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 416-222-8477 and Xtra
Xtra will update as information becomes available.
we may not know the details (yet), whether this was a hate crime or not….
but when we look at this death in the larger scheme of tings, we should be guarding ourselves.
this is big news in Toronto, but it’s everyday in many other parts.
I, for one, am not shocked….
these past few weeks have been raging with backlash, hate, and LOVE.
R.I.P Chris Skinner.
we will continue organising to prevent the unwarranted deaths of many other queers & trannies…..
en we will continue speaking TRUTH to (more) POWER,