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Aftermath of the van incident in Toronto

A van jumped a kerb in a northern suburb of Toronto and ran into a crowd of pedestrians, leaving numerous casualties. A rented Chevrolet Express van was driven into pedestrians along Yonge Street in the North York City Centre business district of Toronto, killing 10 and wounding 15 others. The suspect, 25-year-old Alek Minassian, was arrested 26 minutes later. It is the deadliest vehicle-ramming attack in Canadian history.

The incident started around 1:30 pm (EDT). The van, rented from Ryder, was driven erratically southbound on Yonge Street from Finch Avenue towards Sheppard Avenue, breaching a red light and jumping onto the sidewalk, striking multiple pedestrians leaving a crime scene stretching over a dozen city blocks. Police surrounded the damaged van, which was stopped about 2.3 kilometres (1.4 mi) south of where the attack began, on the north sidewalk on Poyntz Avenue, just west of Yonge Street and two blocks south of Sheppard Avenue, with the suspected driver standing near the opened driver-side door. The suspect was arrested after a brief standoff at 1:52 pm EDT, in which he repeatedly gestured his hand from his back pocket toward a police officer and pointed a cell phone as if it were a pistol. Bystander video of the arrest appears to show he was provoking the officer to kill him. 

Paramedics were dispatched immediately to the site and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre was activated as an emergency centre. Nine persons were confirmed to have died at the scene and 16 injured. At 8:15 pm the Toronto Police Service announced that a tenth person had died. Sunnybrook treated ten victims. The hospital reported that two persons arrived without vital signs and were pronounced dead on arrival, five were in critical condition, two serious and one in fair condition.

Police identified the suspect as 25-year-old Alek Minassian, reportedly an individual with no prior criminal history. According to his LinkedIn profile, he was a student at Seneca College from 2011 and lives in Richmond Hill, a suburb north of Toronto. He was a software and mobile app developer. Minassian's classmates at Thornlea High School described him as "not overly social."

The Toronto Transit Commission closed North York Centre subway station, as well as bus services in the area. Toronto police announced that the incident area along Yonge Street would be cordoned-off for several days. Security was heightened around Air Canada Centre as fans gathered at Maple Leaf Square to watch the National Hockey League East Quarterfinal Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins. A moment of silence was observed during the game to honour the victims.

This post first appeared on World Affairs, please read the originial post: here

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Aftermath of the van incident in Toronto


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