Canadian police seek motive in van attack that killed 10

27 April 2018, 12:37 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Courtesy of ABC News

Courtesy of ABC News

The man suspected of running down numerous pedestrians on a bustling stretch of Yonge Street north of downtown Toronto is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Dorothy Sewell was killed in the van attack on April 23, 2018 in Toronto.

Police have charged 25-year-old Alek Minassian in connection with the incident, laying 10 first-degree murder charges and 13 attempted murder charges.

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Meanwhile, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who happens to be in Toronto for a meeting with other G7 national security ministers, says the attack has led to "a very large homicide investigation", with city police at the helm and every level of government taking part. Those known to have been killed include a 30-year-old woman from Toronto, Anne Marie D'Amico, who was active in volunteer work, as well as a female student at Seneca College, which Minassian attended.

Minassian on Monday posted a cryptic message to Facebook minutes before setting off in his rented vehicle, Sgt. The majority of the victims were women, ranging in age from their mid-20s to early 80s, Gibson said.

"You feel for this community considering that you live here, you shop here, you laugh with the people here, you go out here", said resident Don-Antonio Andrew.

Minassian confirmed his name for the court.

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, he said, "We can not as Canadians choose to live in fear every single day as we go about our daily business".

Asked if there was any evidence of a connection to worldwide terrorism, the chief said only, "Based on what we have there's nothing that has it to compromise the national security at this time".

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"He did not complete his recruit training and requested to be voluntarily released from the CAF after 16 days of recruit training", the Department of National Defence said.

The incident prompted police to beef up security and close several streets around the Air Canada Centre Monday night for the Toronto-Boston NHL playoff game. He then went to a sorority house and knocked loudly on the door before shooting three women outside the house, killing two and injuring the third.

The South Korean embassy in Canada confirmed to the BBC that two of its citizens were among the dead and another was critically ill.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders speaks during a news conference in Toronto on Monday.

The agency reported Tuesday that the Jordanian embassy in Ottawa is in contact with the family of Munair Najjar, who was in Toronto visiting family.

Anne-Marie D'Amico worked for the United States investment company, Invesco, CBC reports.

"We are honoured to let the world know what an incredible person she was", Gavin Ziv, vice president of professional events at Tennis Canada, said in a statement.

Ontario's Chief Coroner Dirk Huyer said Tuesday that investigators have yet to formally identify those killed, citing the complexity of the investigation and the sheer size of the crime scene.

"It ranges from scrapes and bruises to bad injuries that I won't get into discussing here", Gibson added. The attack shook the usually peaceful streets of Toronto, a multicultural city with a population of 2.8 million. The drama started at lunchtime on a warm spring day, when the driver drove his vehicle into the crowds. Wes, who lives nearby, was strolling down Yonge Street to get a haircut when he saw a body bag on the ground.

There has been a string of deadly vehicle attacks in the United States and Europe, including an October 31 attack in NY that killed eight.



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