Toronto police are not treating the
murder of openly gay Christopher Skinner as a hate crime, but friends
have yet to rule out the possibility as the manhunt for Skinner's
The twenty-seven-year-old college
student was killed during an altercation Sunday after his assaulters
ran him over with a black-colored SUV. The men attacked Skinner as
he walked home alone along Adelaide Street. They knocked him to the
ground, then returned to the vehicle and the driver ran him over. He
was rushed to the hospital, but died while in surgery. Police
believe as many 4 men were involved in the crime.
Police on Thursday released a 3-second
video that shows the black-colored SUV in question – four doors,
light interior, high-intensity headlights – heading eastbound on
Adelaide Street around 3AM.
And a description of the driver was
released by investigators during a news conference. The man is
described by officials as under 30, light skinned and wearing a short
“military style” haircut. Eyewitnesses say the driver was
wearing a tight black-colored tank top.
Friends say Skinner was not one to
create trouble and continue to believe he might have been attacked
because of his sexual orientation. “I find that Toronto police
very rarely jump to the conclusion that homophobia exists,”
long-time friend Craig
Lund told gay weekly Xtra.ca.
Skinner and Ryan Cooke were engaged to
be married next summer. About seven hours after Skinner's death,
Cooke was desperate to find his boyfriend. “HEY … does anyone
know where Chris is?” he wrote on his Facebook page.
Cooke and Skinner's parents attended a
memorial service for the hit-and-run victim on Tuesday, but opted not
vigil is now planned for Sunday, October 25 at the corner of
Church & Wellesley Street at 8PM.