Shari-Ann Bracci-Selvey, centre, fights back tears at a vigil for her 14-year-old murdered son, Devan Selvey, at his high school, Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, In Hamilton, Ont., Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston

Mother of slain Hamilton, Ont. teen says ‘everyone’ failed her son

Shari-Ann Bracci-Selvey broke down in tears as she spoke to reporters for the first time since her son Devan died

A mother who witnessed her son being stabbed to death outside his high school broke her silence on Wednesday, blaming the system for failing to protect the 14-year-old from the “bullies” she said made his first month of school a nightmare.

Shari-Ann Bracci-Selvey broke down in tears as she spoke to reporters for the first time since her son Devan died near Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School in Hamilton on Monday afternoon.

Another 14-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man are currently facing first-degree murder charges in his death, which police have described as premeditated.

Bracci-Selvey spared no one when describing who was responsible for her son’s death, saying everyone — from the school he attended to his own family — let him down.

“Everyone failed my son,” she said. “Even I did. I tried to save him and I couldn’t.”

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board Education Director Manny Figueiredo confirmed the school had received complaints about bullying against Devan, but did not provide details.

“As a board, we will also conduct a formal review of our Safe Schools practices when the police and school investigations are complete,” he said in an emailed statement Wednesday. He said the community was still “in shock” and “trying to make sense of what happened.”

Figueiredo previously said the accused in the case are either past or present students at Sir Winston Churchill.

Bracci-Selvey said her son had been viciously bullied since the second day of the school year, when tormentors allegedly stole his bike. He had been harassed ever since, she said.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Hamilton Police Det.-Sgt. Steve Bereziuk said the family had filed a report about the stolen bike last month. He added the accused in that case are not the same teens now facing murder charges.

Bracci-Selvey said Devan missed a lot of classes, either by outright refusing to go to school or calling her asking to be picked up early.

She did not say if such a call was what brought her to the school Monday afternoon, but said she has yet to come to terms with ”the horror” she witnessed firsthand.

“I haven’t slept, I haven’t eaten — every time I close my eyes it’s there,” she said through tears. “So if I don’t close my eyes, I can’t relive it.”

Bracci-Selvey said her son was not the only target of the bullying, and often shielded his friends who faced similar harassment.

An obituary for the teen describes a boy with a “passion for old cars, video games and a loving heart for animals.”

Hamilton police had previously arrested four people in connection with his death, but later released two 16-year-olds without charges.

Bereziuk declined to say why the charges that police expected to be laid against those teens were abandoned.

He confirmed, however, that the 14-year-old boy is believed to have been the one wielding the knife that killed Devan. The identity of the adult suspect is protected by a publication ban, while the name of the 14-year-old cannot be released under the terms of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Bereziuk said the investigation remains active, noting investigators have not yet spoken to Devan’s mother in an effort to allow her to cope with her pain.

“I’m not going to push her right now,” he said. ”I can’t imagine what she’s going through, so I’m going to give her a lot of rope. And when she’s available to contact me and sit down and meet, then my door’s open.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Some bystanders with fire extinguishers helped keep the fire under control. Photo courtesy Suzie Thomas
Bystanders keep fire from spreading near McIvor Lake turnoff

‘Just be vigilant and careful,’ says Campbell River fire chief

The Pier Street Farmers Market will once again take up residence on Sundays from May to Septmber at the parking lot across from the Community Centre in downtown Campbell River for 2021. Mirror File Photo
Pier Street Farmers Market returns to Cedar Street parking lot for 2021

…and it’s hoped that the addition of artisans this year will make it even better

Some recommendations from the Downtown Safety Select Committee have been approved by Campbell River City Council, including removing the glass stage covering at Spirit Square. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Council going ahead with removing Spirit Square stage covering

But mayor acknowledges need for ‘welcoming, warm place with support services’

A small fire on North Rendezvous Island is the first wildfire of the season in the Campbell River area. Officials are asking people to take caution when burning during these dry conditions. BC Wildfire Dashboard
‘Conditions are tricky at the moment’ warns Coastal Fire Centre

Small fire on North Rendezvous Island first of the season for Campbell River area

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Island woman on fence about vaccine prompted by brother’s death

Leela Harrop of Comox says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Most Read