UPDATE: July 31, 11 p.m.: The London police have now officially declared this death a homicide. There have been no arrests yet.
A London teenager is dead after a shootout near the city’s southwestern edge – a newly developed area of high-end homes and empty bush land.
No one was in custody on Saturday night, around 24 hours after death, police said. It’s unclear where the party took place – inside a house or somewhere outdoors – but investigators appeared to be focused on a bushy area next to a cornfield and next to Silverleaf Estates, a community of luxury homes founded a few years ago.
Emergency teams were called to a “large gathering of people” at around 1:15 am early Saturday near Pack Road and Grand Oak Cross, not far from London’s Lambeth and Byron areas. An 18-year-old was found with a gunshot wound, said London Police Const. Travis buckle.
The man, whose identity the police had not made public at his family’s request, was taken to the London Health Sciences Center with life-threatening injuries and died shortly afterwards, he said.
London police declared the death to be murder late on Saturday. Officers spent much of the Saturday searching the area of the shooting on foot and on bicycles.
“It is certainly a very tragic circumstance,” said Buckle, adding that the investigation is being led by the Serious Crimes Division.
Officials interviewed neighbors who live in Grand Oak Cross, a newly built neighborhood in the city where many high-end homes are still being built. The police set up a command post there and Buckle found that there would be a large police presence there for some time to come.
Local residents said they parked more than a dozen cars on the streets in the area around 11 p.m. Friday and saw people coming and going. Empty beer cans and other rubbish littered the roadside near where the police had closed Pack Road.
“It’s a beautiful area, sure,” said one local resident, who spoke on condition that his name not be published. “I could never imagine that.”
The investigations are still in the early stages and will be announced later, the police said. Anyone with information is asked to call the London Police at 519 661-5670.
This is the ninth murder of the year in London, up from four in 2020.