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Driver plows van into pedestrians, kills 10, injures 15

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Footage from the scene appears to show bodies on the sidewalk (Photo: Twitter/Mary Tan)

At least 10 people are dead and four people in critical condition in Toronto after a man “deliberately” drove a rental van onto a sidewalk for up to a mile and struck a crowd of pedestrians before fleeing the scene on Monday.

Police have arrested a 25-year-old suspect identified as Alek Minassian, who could be of Armenian ancestry. CNN reports that police are calling the attack “deliberate.”

CBS News posted this image of Alek Minassian from a LinkedIn profile the news agency said belonged to the suspect

Video footage of the arrest appeared to show Minassian pointing an object at an officer when he was confronted by police. Some witnesses said they believed it was a cell phone.

No shots were fired during the apprehension. The following is a screenshot of a CBS report on the arrest:


Video footage from the scene shows police repeatedly ordering the suspect to “get down.”

Minassian appears to shout back, “Kill me!”

The officer responds, “No, get down! Get down!”

As he walks toward the officer with one arm extended, Minassian states: “I have a gun in my pocket. … Shoot me in the head.”

Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital reports that it has received 10 patients from the scene, which is located on one of Toronto’s major thoroughfares, according to Sky News.

In a day when trucks repeatedly have been used by terrorists to mow down unsuspecting and innocent pedestrians around the world, CTV News said there were images of “multiple” people down.

What do YOU think? What’s the solution to vehicular terrorism? Sound off in today’s WND poll

Scene footage appears to show the van that was driver by the suspect onto the sidewalk

Ryder van used in attack on Toronto pedestrians on April 23 (Photo: Twitter)

Witness Alex Shaker told the agency the van was traveling at a high speed on the sidewalk.

“He started going down on the sidewalk and crumbling down people one by one,” Shaker told CTV. “He just destroyed so many people’s lives. Every single thing that got in his way.”

He reported seeing the van strike a stroller.

Footage from the scene appears to show a body covered by an orange sheet on the sidewalk (Photo: Twitter)

Police Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu has told news outlets that authorities still don’t know the motive or reasons behind the attack.

“At this point it’s too early to tell what if any motive there was. We are also unable right now to tell the extent or the number of persons injured,” said Toronto police spokeswoman Meaghan Gray.

Footage from the scene of the arrest after the April 23 van attack in Toronto shows a suspect pointing an object toward a police officer and refusing to get down onto the ground (Photo: video screenshot)

The attack happened on Yonge Street near Finch Avenue in a heavily traveled part of Toronto.

The news agency said a second witness, Phil Zullo, reported seeing “shoes and hats flown everywhere.”

Eyewitness Diego Dematos told Sky News:

We saw the last few people get hit. That’s when we were driving north on Yonge Street, which is one of the busiest streets in Toronto. I’m still a little bit shaken, so sorry if I don’t speak properly.

We actually saw when the van hit the last few people that were on the sidewalk. We thought it was just a hit and run. He kept driving. All I could see was dead bodies on the floor.

As I was driving up north on Yonge, I could see more and more people lying on the ground. Then paramedics started to arrive and the police started to arrive, so I wasn’t really sure what was happening.

I stopped to help one of the victims on the side of the road along with a few other people. It was a hard image to see. For sure, a lot of them had really bad injuries and two or three I can’t confirm if they were dead on the side of the road.

It was on purpose. I don’t know if he was drunk, I don’t think so, or if he maybe had a medical condition that happened. He was on the sidewalk and then on the road and then on the sidewalk and [the people] were all a few feet from each other. Maybe it continued for about six blocks or so.

Witness Henry Miller, who lives in an apartment overlooking the scene, told Sky News: “The situation over here is pretty crazy. I’m up in apartment buildings looking down. I heard a large amount of honking and stepped out onto balcony to see the trouble. … At this point, I saw a lady on the floor and the van driving off and people trying to help her.”

Miller said he saw a “white van speeding probably 60 to 70 miles per hour down this major road, swerving to deliberately hit pedestrians and avoid traffic before careering off into a side street and out of view.”

The van was found a short time after nearby, and authorities said it was marked as belonging to the rental company Ryder.

Ryder issued the following statement: “Ryder is aware of the incident involving a Ryder rental van striking pedestrians in Toronto on Monday April 23rd in the early afternoon. We are saddened by this tragic event, and our deepest sympathies go out to those impacted. We take the safety and security related to the use of our entire fleet very seriously and we are cooperating fully with authorities.”

The Star reported police were asking the public to stay away from the area and the subway service at that point was shut down for now.

At a press conference about three hours after the attack, Toronto Mayor John Tory attempted to assured residents that “the city is in safe hands” and said he believes “this is a time when the community should come together.”

Tory added, “I hope that we will as a city remind ourselves of the fact that we are admired around the world for being inclusive and for being accepting and understanding and considerate and that we are united in standing in solidarity with those who have fallen victim to this terrible tragedy today.