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Toronto van attack: Suspect quizzed after 10 pedestrians killed


Tuesday April 24, 2018


Canadian police are questioning the suspected driver of a rented van that ploughed into pedestrians in northern Toronto on Monday, killing 10 and injuring 15.


Alek Minassian, 25, was not previously known to authorities, police said.

The incident appeared to be deliberate but the motive was not clear, officials added.

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the "tragic and senseless attack" had brought him "great sadness".


Meanwhile, an officer has been praised for not opening fire during a tense standoff with the suspect, who claimed to be armed.

Video broadcast on CBC News showed a man pointing what appeared to be a gun at officers and shouting "kill me".

The officer tells the man to "get down" and when the suspect says he has a gun, the officer repeats: "I don't care. Get down." The suspect was then arrested without shots being fired.

How did the incident unfold?
Police said the white rental van mounted the kerb on Yonge Street between Finch Avenue and Sheppard Avenue at about 13:30 local time (17:30 GMT) on Monday and drove into pedestrians along a 2km (1.24 mile) stretch.

Reza Hashemi, who owns a video shop on Yonge Street, told the BBC he heard screaming on the other side of the road.

He said the van was repeatedly mounting the pavement and running into people.

'It was awful': What eyewitnesses saw
One witness told City News that the driver was "hitting anything that comes in the way".
"People, fire hydrants, there's mail boxes being run over," said the unnamed man, who said he was driving behind the van during the incident.

As the van continued, the man said he sounded his horn to try to warn pedestrians. "I witnessed at least six, seven people being hit and flying in the air, like killed, on the street," he said.
Another former student, Ari Bluff, said Minassian did not seem to have many friends.

"I remember seeing him probably just walking down the halls, usually by himself, or in the cafeteria by himself," he said. He was speaking to CBC.

Minassian went on to attend Seneca College in the North York area of Toronto, where the van incident took place, CBC reported.

What else is known?
Van rental company Ryder System Inc confirmed that one of its vehicles was involved and said it was co-operating with authorities.

The incident happened while foreign ministers of the G7 leading industrialised nations - Canada, the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan - were holding talks in Toronto.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the G7 meetings would continue on Tuesday as planned.
"The work of the ministers obviously goes on. This is a very sad day for the people of Toronto and the people of Canada," she said.

City Mayor John Tory urged residents to remain calm.

"This kind of tragic incident is not representative of how we live or who we are or anything to do with life in the city on a day-to-day basis," he said.

The White House issued a statement saying the US "stands with the Canadian people" and offering "any support Canada may need". 



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