Allegations of bullying surround death of high school student
file photo/rafe arnott/metro vancouver
An unmarked police cruiser blocks the body of Justin Peter Vasey. The 14-year-old was killed Feb. 25 in front of an abandoned house on 104th Avenue in Surrey.
« We haven’t anything at this particular time to suggest that bullying is involved in this case. »
A man murdered in Surrey last week was only 14 years old, police revealed yesterday.
Justin Peter Vasey was a student at Enver Creek Secondary. Last Monday, his body was found at 104th Avenue and 140th Street near an abandoned house that young people often gathered at. Investigators originally thought that he was around 18 years old.
Another teen was found injured and unconscious nearby. Police have not said whether the two are connected.
Some Internet postings suggest that Vasey’s death was the result of school bullying, though Cpl. Dale Carr of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has downplayed the allegations.
"We haven’t anything at this particular time to suggest that bullying is involved in this case," said Cpl. Dale Carr, adding that police have not established any links between Vasey and the school he attended.
Other people have suggested that Vasey himself was a bully. One woman who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that she has family members who were "continually" bullied by Vasey with both verbal and physical abuse.
"I really feel for the family, I do," said the Surrey woman. "There’s no way that a parent should ever have to bury their child, but I also feel bad for the kids (he) bullied."
Global TV reported last night that Vasey seemed to have other obstacles to overcome, citing friends who said he was in foster care, often ran away and bragged about smoking pot. The unnamed Surrey woman also claims that Vasey had been having problems at school.
Friends of Vasey are holding an anti-bullying rally in his memory today in Surrey.
Anyone with information is asked to call IHIT at 1-877-543-9217.