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UPDATE: Aggravated assault victim has passed, police now investigating homicide

A Syndicate Avenue aggravated assault victim has passed away and city police now investigating as a homicide.
Syndicate Avenue

THUNDER BAY - Police are now investigating the city’s second homicide of the year after the victim of an assault late last week died in hospital on the weekend.

Thunder Bay Police were first called to a reported break and enter at a residence on the 300 block of Syndicate Avenue North just before 3 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 9.

An 18-year-old male was discovered and believed to have been the victim of an assault. He was transported to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre for treatment.

“Unfortunately the victim succumbed to his injuries this weekend,” said Det. Insp. John Fennell with the Thunder Bay Police Service. “So as such, the major case investigators are reviewing it with the Crown’s office now to find the most appropriate charges to lay. The investigation has also revealed two other victims in the home, so more charges will be pending for that as well.”

The victim has been identified as Austin Peter Robinson of Thunder Bay. A post-mortem examination is being scheduled to take place in Toronto sometime this week.

When police arrived on the scene last Thursday, footprints in the freshly fallen snow were located and two male suspects were found.

Cody Echum, 19, and a 14-year-old male were charged with aggravated assault and remain in custody. Fennell anticipates the charges will be upgraded later this week and additional charges, including assault with a weapon, will be laid in relation to the two other victims found at the residence.

The two additional victim did not require treatment for the injuries sustained during the incident.  

According to Fennell, Robinson was known to the two accused, but he could not say to what extent.

Fennell added there were weapons involved but was not able to provide any further information.

“There was instruments involved, but for the protection of the investigation, I won’t describe what they were,” he said.

It does not appear this incident had any relation to the drug trade in the city, but Fennell said the investigation is still in the early stages.

“With these types of investigations we are very protective of information because anything out in the community could taint some of the new evidence we are trying to obtain,” he said.

This is the second homicide in the city since the start of the new year. On New Year’s Day, an 11-year-old boy was killed by his mother, 34-year-old, Courtney Marie Labelle. She has been charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault.

“Needless to say, it’s always troubling,” Fennell said. “One is too many. To have two in such a short time this year, it’s not a good start.”



The victim of a recent aggravated assault has died from their injuries, and as a result the Thunder Bay Police Service is now treating the case as a homicide investigation. 

Thunder Bay Police Service officers with the Uniform Patrol Branch were en route to a reported break and enter in the 300 block of Syndicate Avenue North just before 3 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. 

Officers arrived in the area and located footprints in the freshly fallen snow, which were suspected to be linked to the original call for service. Police followed the footprints and located two male suspects. 

Further investigation led officers to discover that an 18-year-old male had been the victim of an assault at the Syndicate Avenue North residence. 

The male victim was transported to the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre for further treatment of his life-threatening injuries. The victim passed from their injuries over the weekend. 

Cody ECHUM, 19, of Thunder Bay, and a 14-year-old male were both charged on Thursday, Jan. 9 with Aggravated Assault. Both accused appeared in bail court that day and were remanded into custody with future appearance dates. 

Members of the Thunder Bay Police Service’s Major Crimes Unit expect to lay new charges as a result of the victim’s passing. 

Investigators also identified additional victims who were connected to the original incident. As a result of the ongoing investigation, police identified a 20-year-old male and a 20-year-old female as having been assaulted with a weapon during the Jan. 9 incident. 

Additional charges including Assault with a Weapon are expected. 

The identity of the youth accused is being withheld in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act. 

Doug Diaczuk

About the Author: Doug Diaczuk

Doug Diaczuk is a reporter and award-winning author from Thunder Bay. He has a master’s degree in English from Lakehead University
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