‘He shouldn’t be dead’: suspect accused of stabbing Montreal teenager

The suspect appeared in Juvenile Court for second degree murder. Hours later, a large crowd gathered for a candlelight vigil for Jannai Dopwell-Bailey.

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A 16-year-old boy was charged with second-degree murder on Friday for the stabbing death of another teenager outside a Côte-des-Neiges high school earlier this week.


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Jannai Dopwell-Bailey, 16, was fatally stabbed in the upper body on Monday after what police described as an altercation with other teens outside her school.

Montreal police announced an arrest in the case on Friday. The teenager in question, who cannot be identified due to his age, was indicted for second degree murder in Juvenile Court in the afternoon.

The victim’s mother, Charla Dopwell, told the Montreal Gazette that police contacted her after 11 p.m. Thursday to inform her of the arrest. Since the police did not reveal the suspect’s name to him, he does not know if his son knew him.

When asked if the news changed anything for her, she replied, “I wish it would. But I’m still broken. “

“I don’t know if it was someone who was harassing him for days or if it all happened on the day (of the stabbing). I don’t know exactly what happened, ”he said.

“All I know is that he shouldn’t be dead.”


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Just hours after the court appearance, a large crowd gathered in front of Dopwell-Bailey School, Program Mile End High School on Van Horne Ave., to pay their respects at a candlelight vigil.

Friends and family brought flowers, candles, balloons and photographs to add to a makeshift shrine that began on the school’s front steps earlier this week. Several friends wore sweaters with the words “Twizzy’s World” on them, a reference to their nickname.

A hush fell over the crowd as loved ones passed around a microphone and took turns sharing memories, each speech punctuated by a chant of “Long live Jannai, in our hearts and in our minds.”

Dopwell-Bailey was described as a shy boy who dreamed of making a career out of his music, known for his “brilliant little antics” that would make anyone around him smile.


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Several teenage friends remembered him as a talented and loyal friend who would drop whatever he was doing to help someone in need. Adults from the community also spoke, urging the youth in attendance not to seek retaliation, but to try to honor Dopwell-Bailey through their actions every day.

“Keep rapping and singing, but stay away from the violence,” his mother said. “Do you see what he did to my son? Stay out of it. “

Sharon Nelson of the Montreal Jamaican Association said she met Dopwell-Bailey through her participation in the association’s programs.

He would spend four nights a week at the association studying, Nelson said, shy to the point of barely saying hello, but always courteous.

“He was a very gentle soul, a very sweet and dedicated person,” Nelson said.


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“For the young people here, know that you are loved, that you are important,” he added. “Your story is one of hope, of dreams, of building and creating; that is what Jannai also wanted.”

Dopwell-Bailey’s older brother, Tyrese, said he knew his brother was full of potential from a young age. It was tough on him growing up, he added, because he knew he could achieve anything he set his mind to.

He said he has found himself in a strange state since the murder, wondering aloud why he doesn’t cry as much as the rest of his family.

“I felt like I wasn’t taking it as much as everyone else, but now I realize I’m probably taking it worse,” he said, as his loved ones wrapped their arms around him.

“I still feel like he’s going home. I keep waiting for him to call me, ”she added through tears. “Make sure you tell your loved ones that you love them.”

Presse Canadienne contributed to this report.

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