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Toronto collision leaves 10 dead, 15 injured; suspect in custody

TORONTO — Ten people are dead and 15 are injured after the driver of a van plowed into multiple pedestrians in Toronto on Monday in what appears to be a deliberate act, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said.

Saunders said the suspected driver, Alek Minassian, 25, of Richmond Hill, Ontario, was in custody. Minassian was arrested in a white rental van less than 30 minutes after police relieved a 911 call, Sauders said.

Minassian was previously known to Toronto authorities, according to a US law enforcement official briefed on the matter. Authorities said Minassian left a trail of destruction nearly a mile long on the busy street, north of midtown Toronto.

Deputy Chief Peter Yuen said police received calls around 1:30 p.m. that a vehicle was driving on Yonge Street, striking pedestrians. Police said the collisions happened in the North York area at the busy intersection of Yonge Street and Finch Avenue.

“Based on witness accounts, we have a vehicle that started north on Yonge Street from Finch and drove southbound at some point in times on sidewalks, at some point in times driving southbound in northbound lanes,” Saunders said.

Saunders added: “So, it’s very clear just from a general perspective to say that the actions definitely look deliberate.”

At this point, “there would appear to be no national security connection” to the incident, said Ralph Goodale, Canada’s minister of public safety and emergency preparedness.

Ten patients were transported to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and two were declared dead at the hospital, said Dr. Dan Cass, executive vice-president and chief medical officer.

Cass said the patients suffered a range of injuries, some serious.

“This is a time when the community should come together,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory, who praised first responders.

Tory said he hopes that Toronto remembers it is a city of inclusion.

“This kind of tragic incident is not representative of how we live or who we are … or anything to do with life in this city on a day-to-day basis,” Tory said.

In recent years, individuals have driven vehicles into crowds of pedestrians in fatal attacks in major cities including Barcelona, New York, London and Nice, France.

Chelsea Luelo, who works at Capriccio Café, saw the incident and said she thought the driver was hitting people intentionally.

“It looked like he was going straight, halfway through the sidewalk,” Luelo said.

Jonathan Mayor, a spokesman for Ryder, said the incident involved one of the company’s rental vans.

“We take the safety and security related to the use of our entire fleet very seriously and we are cooperating fully with authorities,” Mayor said in an email to CNN.

‘Pandemonium broke loose’

Witness Mary Tan shared two photos showing people injured in the incident.

A witness, Raj Irshad, said he saw multiple bodies on the ground.

Irshad works at an Esso gas station about a block from where the van is reported to have driven onto the sidewalk. He said he did not see the initial collision but saw the aftermath. He also saw multiple emergency vehicles in front of his gas station.

One witness told CNN network partner CTV that he was out for a cigarette when he saw the van hit a man walking through the intersection.

“And then, just pandemonium broke loose, just everyone was going crazy,” he said. The vehicle was going 60 to 70 kph, he estimated.

One witness, who was driving at the time, said he at first thought the driver was having a heart attack until he saw the white van speeding and striking people on the sidewalk.

“He’s just hitting people one by one, going down,” the witness said. “It’s a nightmare.”

Bersat Noorai, the manager of Taftan Kebab, said he saw the white van hit the bench in front of his restaurant. He then ran outside and saw two or three people on the ground.

One man, who appeared to be in his early 20s, was losing a lot of blood, and Noorai said he brought him a towel and water and called 911.

‘She’s face down on the concrete’

Another witness, Christian Ali, said he came onto the scene and saw bodies and evidence of the destruction.

He first saw a man unconscious at the side of the road and figured it was a terrible accident after also noticing debris from a car.

“Two blocks over, I saw another gentleman unconscious in the middle of the road and a policeman leaning over him holding his neck,” Ali said.

About a block up, he saw a woman who looked like she had died.

“She’s face down on the concrete, a lot of fluid coming out of her head,” Ali said.

“About 20 seconds after that, I came upon a crowd of about 30 people … probably about five people on the ground, bleeding,” he said, adding that pedestrians were performing CPR.

After learning about the incident, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “Our hearts go out to anyone affected. We’re obviously going to have more to learn and more to say in the coming hours.”

“Prayers for Toronto,” Marcus Stroman, a pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays wrote.

21 comments

  • Rusty Knyffe

    To JIMBRONY, I will concede that it is possible that the suspect driver in this horrific crime is likely not of a specific origin. I will also concede that I was very quick to assume the worst. For those faults, I stand accountable.

    What I will not concede to is your other allegations and assertions. I am not going to defend my prejudice because prejudice is formed when one demographic tends to perpetrate certain types of crimes or violence and those not residing in those parameters see the ones that do as a threat. I’m not apologizing for that, one iota. If any demographic is uncomfortable being “labeled,” then they need to address violence within their own cultures and/or religions.

    I am also not obligated to provide you with any other information, though the book that I frequently refer to involves the histories of the former Ottoman and Persian Empires and is a reference text.

    Your other assumptions on gender, age, demographics, and Word Press ID’s reflects your own personal issues and is proof-in-text that you’re just as imperfect as anyone else is. To remotely suggest that I was disappointed that McVeigh was not mooslim is horrific. I wish that people didn’t perpetrate the violence that they do, idiot, but the fact is that violence is an unfortunate facet of the Human Condition and no amount of understanding, open arms, tolerance, and acceptance is going to change that simple fact.

    To you, I recommend listening to or reading work done by Jordan Peterson. You might be inspired to contemplate rather than screech agenda rhetoric. And, I make this promise to you: I will ignore any/all future comments that are posted by JIMBRONY.

    • jimbrony

      So let me summarize:
      1. You were wrong about the attacker being a muzzy.
      2. You’re prejudiced and an unapologetic bigot, and want the muzzies to clean their own house before you’ll cut them any slack. Are you prepared to do the same whatever race you are?
      3. You won’t provide information because you can’t, because you’re back-pedaling again.
      4. I never said or implied I’m perfect, just that you’re a message board blowhard with multiple personalities that likes to think they know everything and people should not challenge you. I think you even reply to your own comments to support yourself.
      5. I doubt you’ll resist replying to me, at least under the Rusty Knyffe alias. You’re too much of a narcissist and egomaniac and all your posts to others proves it. ‘Screech agenda rhetoric?’ What agenda would that be? Pointing out that you’re wrong and not the genius you think you are? You’ve got problems man, I feel sorry for you.

    • jimbrony

      Yet he has no ties to any terror groups, wasn’t a lone wolf, and seemed to be a social outcast. Thanks for fanning the flames of prejudice and bigotry. Curious – were you disappointed after the Oklahoma City bombing to find out the perp was a flag waving patriot?

      • adalagarzi

        Alright, listen here you pole-proportioned Eproctophile. It’s a fair assessment for one to assume that the “Truck of Peace” drivers are Muslim given their tract record of driving through crowds. I can tell that you’re probably the type of person that throws patterns, data, and records to the wind. You’d spend all day urinating on an electric fence from your small sensitive member, and say “Oh, it won’t shock me this time” only to have the hairs around your toothpick-circumferenced quasi-reproductive organ singed down to the pores, making the lice around there beg for you to stop.

        I don’t blame a single soul for thinking it was a “Peace Loving” muslim that drove through the crowd. And you, with every synaptic flaw that you have, are incapable of seeing how people can make this assessment. Oh, the driver WASN’T muslim? That’s a nice change! Maybe people that throw gays off of buildings in the middle east, cut off a womans clitoris, stone people, ACTIVELY OPPRESS WOMEN, will turn out to not be muslim when we hear about it.

        Am I prejudice? You better believe it. I have every right to be, and no reason to not be. My mind can be changed through data, patterns, statistics, etc, but you have your head so far up your rear end, it’d probably muffle your words. Besides, I’ve seen your type before, you don’t like logic or reason. Yes, I said “your type.” Another prejudicial judgment based off of the patterns of behavior exhibited by the degenerate cancer to modern society that you and your ilk bring upon the face of reality.

      • jimbrony

        Wow, if I didn’t know any better I could swear your prose is identical to that of Shitey Bisquick AKA Rusty Dikes. You assume an awful lot about me, but I do appreciate your candor by showing what a monstrosity of a human being you are. You’re no better than the people you so despise.

    • donald fox

      Well not sure what article you read but it clearly says his name in this article. Maybe you should learn to read before you comment anything…..

      • Rusty Knyffe

        Well, Donald Fox, the surname, “Minassian,” is of Iranian/Arabic origin. Because no other relgions/cultures/ideaologies are tolerated in that region of the world, and given Trudeau’s “safe harbor” Canada, this fellow is most likely a practicing Mus.lim. How about YOU check your facts before commenting, eh?

      • jimbrony

        You are always good for a laugh rusted bike/shitty biscuit – you flame someone for not checking their facts, and then you utter nonsense. The Canadian authorities state that Minassian is from Armenia, which is predominantly Orthodox Christian. Swing and a miss, as usual. Derp.

      • Silverfish Imperetrix

        Do you think when Carl posted, the story might not have been updated to include the killer’s name? It was an ongoing story, you know.

      • Rusty Knyffe

        JIMBRONY, you must have used google to research the origin of the suspect’s surname – it’s the first thing to pop up on google, and it’s incorrect. The Armenian variation is spelled differently, but google doesn’t provide that information.

        The problem with you is that you are angry and you don’t accept corrections or instruction from your betters. Instead of jumping on every alt-left bandwagon without rhyme or reason, begin educating yourself and accepting the fact that you don’t know as much as you would like people to believe that you do, and that it might be prudent to be silent, use your head, and find facts, instead of rhetoric or agenda-supported information.

        Now, run along and let the grownups converse.

      • jimbrony

        Nobody’s angry here, shitty biscuits/rusted bike. I’m laughing at your back-pedaling and your incessant need to reply to every post that counters yours. All you are is an internet tough/guy know it all that puffs his chest out when he’s told he’s wrong. I didn’t use Google to research his name you effing fool, I cited the Canadian news sources and authorities. Didn’t you in earlier posts scream something about Izlam and religion of peace, yet no news agency has revealed any ties to your claims. ‘Instruction from my betters’ – yeah, OK there skippy. I can’t believe I’m debating with a madman. By all means though, keep up the insanity.

      • jimbrony

        Oh, one more thing rusty bike, since you think ‘the internet’ is wrong, please cite your source that the Minassian name is Iranian/Arabic. I’ll wait…

      • jimbrony

        Almost 24 hours later and still no answer from Rusty Knyffe. Perhaps he misplaced his heirloom reference text of the Persian and Ottoman Empires big book of names. Pity, he has so much to offer us simple country folk. Please Rusty, come back and enlighten us! We miss hearing your teachings!

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