Four teens face first-degree murder charges after a 14-year-old boy was stabbed to death outside a southern Ontario high school, police said Tuesday as they alleged the attack was premeditated.

Hamilton Police Det. Sgt. Steve Bereziuk declined to offer many details about the death of Devan Selvey, who was stabbed Monday afternoon just outside his school as his mother looked on.

But at a news conference announcing the latest developments in the case, Bereziuk said investigators believe the incident was clearly targeted.

"We do believe there is some element of preplanning and premeditation to this homicide," Bereziuk said, although he did not elaborate on the relationships between Devan and the four people now accused in his death.

Devan Selvey

Officers were called to Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School in Hamilton's east end on Monday, after what they initially described as a serious assault.

They later confirmed that Devan was stabbed shortly after 1 p.m. His mother was on-site and witnessed the attack on her son, but police declined to say why she was there.

Bereziuk said police arrested a 14-year-old boy and 18-year-old man hours after the alleged stabbing, adding both have since been formally charged with first-degree murder.

Two other suspects -- a boy and a girl, both 16 -- have since been arrested and will soon be charged with first-degree murder as well, he said.

Bereziuk said the name of the 18-year-old accused is protected under the terms of a publication ban, while the Youth Criminal Justice Act shields the identities of the younger suspects.

He did not offer a motive for the attack, but a fundraising page set up by someone claiming to be Devan's sister suggests he had been bullied.

Karissa Selvey offered few details on the GoFundMe page meant to help cover the costs of a "send-off," but said her brother had "tried to get help for the bullying he was experiencing."

"He was a great kid; shy, quiet and always helped his family and friends," she wrote. "He wanted to become a mechanic; he loved cars.... He was my best friend and I don't know how to live without him."

14-year-old stabbed in Hamilton

Bereziuk said Devan's death has prompted widespread co-operation from the community, but has also shocked residents of the city west of Toronto.

"This entire incident is disturbing," he said. "It's difficult to comprehend right now, to be honest with you. I can't imagine the way the family feels right now."

Bereziuk said police have recovered the knife they believe was used to kill Selvey not far from where the teen died.

He said the investigation into his death remains active.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 8, 2019.