Update: School community, family mourn death of teen who appears to be stabbing victim in Hamilton


Published July 6, 2023 at 11:42 am


A local high school community and its student’s family have announced the death of Mark Bistoyong, who appears to be the victim of the stabbing that occurred during a family gathering on Hamilton Mountain over the long weekend.

St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School’s football team revealed Bistoyong’s death Wednesday (July 5) on Instagram and Twitter, though it did not say he was the stabbing victim.

“It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of Mark Bistoyong. Our hearts go out to Mark’s family, friends, teammates and the STM community,” the Knights, the school’s football team, wrote on Instagram. “Mark inspired his teammates with his commitment to physical fitness and weight training. He was a bright young man with an amazing sense of humour. Mark will be forever loved and sorely missed #ForeverAKnight.”

On Sunday (July 2),  police responded to 911 calls about the stabbing at a home on Cadham Boulevard just after 10 p.m. Police said the victim was brought to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Laureano Bistoyong, 22, was charged with first-degree murder after he allegedly stabbed his 16-year-old cousin at a family gathering. 

The school did not identify the stabbing victim in that case. The Hamilton Spectator identified the school as the one the victim attended in a story on Tuesday, July 4.

In response to inthehammer.com’s questions about whether Mark Bistoyong was the stabbing victim, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board did not directly confirm that information.

“We cannot comment on the cause of death,” said Marnie Jadon, media and communications manager with the Catholic school board, in an email to inthehammer.com today (July 6). She added that the police would be responsible for that information. “We continue to respect the family’s wishes for privacy.”

Jackie Penman, spokesperson for Hamilton police, told inthehammer.com today (July 6) that the police are following the family’s desire not to release the victim’s name.

The Catholic school board instead provided a statement from Brian Daly, principal of St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School.

“The students and staff of STM are grieving the loss of Mark Bistoyong, who was a well-liked, excellent student,” said Daly, the school’s principal, in a statement. “He was a charismatic young man, who will be remembered for his infectious personality and friendly demeanour. The STM community continues to pray for his family during this difficult time.”

Family remembers ‘bright light full of potential,’ creates GoFundMe page

Mark Bistoyong’s obituary was recently posted online.

“It is with great sadness that the family of Mark Bistoyong shares the news of his passing. Born on September 11, 2006, his life was tragically taken on July 2, 2023 at the tender age of 16,” according to the obituary.

The stabbing occurred on July 2, the day Mark died, though the obituary did not mention the cause of his death.

Mark was remembered as a “bright, mature young man” and talented athlete who had just completed Grade 11 with honours, according to the obituary. He learned to skate at the age of three and was involved in numerous sports from hockey to jiu jitsu and muay thai.

In recent years he was part of his school’s football and wrestling teams. He was also interested in fitness and weightlifting. This summer, he was supposed to work as a lifeguard at Wild Waterworks.

“His charm, kind heart and playful personality touched everyone he met,” the obituary read. “Mark was a bright light full of potential who was set to accomplish great things. He will remain forever in our hearts.”

A funeral mass will be held at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Hamilton on Monday, July 10, followed by entombment at Resurrection Cemetery in Ancaster.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page in honour of Mark with donations contributing to the neonatal intensive care unit at McMaster Children’s Hospital and the establishment of the Mark Bistoyong Bursary that will help “a deserving student on their educational journey.”

Mark’s family credits the neonatal unit for giving Mark the care he needed early in his life.

“Mark cherished every moment of his life, finding joy in being active, spending time with his loved ones, and creating treasured memories with his friends,” his family said on his GoFundMe page. “His uniqueness was a gift that brought light to our lives, and for the sixteen precious years we had with him, we are eternally grateful.”

Others expressed condolences in comments in the Instagram post by his football team announcing his death.

“Rogan and Owen were excited when Mark joined the football team, they knew he make a great impact. He was a great athlete and so strong. Our heart breaks for the family, they are truly beautiful people,” commented brookemonaghan11.

“Great man with great potential. Wish Mark the best ❤️,” wrote dylanbarreraa.

“Rip to my brother❤️,” wrote rymen_khamis.

“Has so much potential gone to soon🕊️🙏🏼,” wrote jacob.tiffany17.

Some schools also expressed their condolences on the football team’s Twitter post.

“We extend our condolences to Mark’s family and to the entire @stmcss community. May he Rest in Peace,” Bishop Tonnos CSS tweeted this morning (July 6).

“From our football family to yours, our deepest sympathy and condolences during this difficult time. Mark #RIP,” tweeted the Newman football team.

“May he rest in peace 🕊️💛🖤,” tweeted STM Prefects.



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