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New world news from Time: What We Know About Toronto Van Attack Suspect Alek Minassian

Toronto Police identified a 25-year-old man the suspect in the van attack Monday that left at least 10 people dead and 15 other injured.

Alek Minassian was arrested near the scene of the attack Monday after a short, intense stand-off with Canadian police. He was taken into custody and will appear in court Tuesday morning.

Toronto police took the suspect into custody and identified him shortly after the attack. Police said Minassian will appear in court Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. ET.

Here’s what to know about the Toronto van attack suspect:

Minassian attended a local college

A LinkedIn profile that appears to be Minassian’s says he attended Senaca College in Toronto from 2011 through 2018. The university did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TIME.

Classmates from high school and college told Canada’s Globe and Mail Minassian appeared to be socially awkward and had significant knowledge of computers and computer chips. One classmate told the Globe and Mail he did not believe Minassian knew how to drive a car.

“My memory is not perfect, but certainly, it would not be, I don’t think, a misstatement to say that he wasn’t overly social,” Ari Bluff, who went to Thornlea Secondary School with Minassian, told CBC News.

The motive is still under investigation

Police said Monday the motive for the attack is still unclear. Officials also said Minassian was not previously known to police.

Additionally, officials said the attack appeared to have “no national security connection,” according to NBC News. Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said the “city is safe” but officials had a long way to go for their investigation.

Accounts from witnesses suggested the driver was not swerving accidentally when driving on sidewalks or in the incorrect lane, Saunders said.

“The incident definitely looked deliberate,” he said at a Monday night press conference.

Minassian had a tense standoff with police

Videos posted on social media of the brief stand-off between Minassian and police showed the suspect holding what appears to be a cell phone and pointing it to look like a handgun.

In the video, a police officer could be heard shouting, “Get down! Get down!”

The video showed the Toronto police officer pointing a gun at the suspect and giving him multiple warnings. During the confrontation, the suspect yelled “shoot me in the head.” The officer eventually stepped closer to him until the suspect dropped the object. Officers then arrested him.

Minassian reportedly praised the University of California, Santa Barbara killer

A Facebook profile that appeared to belong to Minassian included a post Monday that praised Elliot Rodger, who killed six people and injured 14 others at the 2014 attack at the University of California, Santa Barbara, CNN reports.

The message read, in part, “All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”

Rodger had crashed his car into pedestrians, shot at passersby and stabbed others during the incident.

Vehicles have been used as a weapon in other attacks around the world. A man killed eight people using a pickup truck in New York City last fall. In Nice, France, a man drove a truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in July 2016, killing 86 people.

Police are still seeking witnesses of the attack

As police continue their investigation, they are still seeking witnesses of the attack to provide further information. Witnesses with photos or videos of the incident can upload them here.

The post New world news from Time: What We Know About Toronto Van Attack Suspect Alek Minassian appeared first on OMNI POP MAG.

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New world news from Time: What We Know About Toronto Van Attack Suspect Alek Minassian


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