After nearly 2 months with few leads on
the homicide of Christopher Skinner, his family and police announced
Tuesday a 75,000 reward for information about the case.
The Toronto Police Department is
offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and
conviction, while Skinner's family pitched in an additional $25,000.
The announcement was made at a press
event Tuesday morning at the Toronto intersection where Skinner, a
gay man, was killed during an altercation Sunday, October 18 after
his assaulters ran him over with a black-colored SUV.
“We are asking the public to come
forward with information needed to solve this case,” said Peter
Lehmkhuhl, the victim's godfather.
Police believe as many as 4 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. Eyewitnesses say the driver was wearing a tight
black-colored tank top and a short “military style” haircut.
Investigators believe Skinner was
attempting to hail a cab when the SUV rolled by.
“We believe Mr. Skinner was still
attempting to hail a cab and he may have intentionally or
unintentionally struck the suspect vehicle with his hand or a part of
his body,” Detective Stacy Gallant said in October. “Maybe he
walked out into the middle of the roadway and caused this [SUV] to
slow down, and they took offense to that.”
But friends have expressed concerns
that 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.
Over 1,000 people showed up to remember
Skinner at an October candlelight vigil, many waving rainbow flags.
The 27-year-old student was engaged to
be married next summer to his boyfriend, Ryan Cooke.