First-degree murder charge laid after stabbing Saturday in Courtenay

Emotions ran high Monday inside and outside the courtroom in Courtenay where a 16-year-old charged with first-degree murder made his first appearance.

Emotions ran high Monday inside and outside the courtroom in Courtenay where a 16-year-old charged with first-degree murder made his first appearance.The teen, who cannot be identified because he is a minor, was arrested Saturday night following a stabbing at about 11:30 p.m. near the entrance to Vanier Secondary School as a crowd dispersed from the Rhythm on the Rock festival at the nearby Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds.The 19-year-old victim later died at St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox.Grieving members of his family could not restrain their emotions inside the courtroom as the 16-year-old was being led away Monday. A verbal altercation ensued outside the courthouse between family members of the 19-year-old from Comox and friends of the alleged assailant.Although he has not been officially identified, the victim grew up in Port Hardy.The defendant is in custody and is due to make his next court appearance Thursday by video.Comox Valley RCMP said he is not well known to police and has no previous history of violence or a criminal record. The Comox Valley RCMP General Investigation Section is investigating as well as the B.C. Coroner Service.Police are interested in speaking to anyone who may have witnessed the stabbing. Witnesses can contact the RCMP at 250-334-1321.

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