Toronto van incident: nine dead and at least 16 injured after van ploughs into crowd
Nine people have been killed and at least 16 injured – several of them seriously – after a van jumped the kerb in a northern suburb of Toronto and ran into a crowd of pedestrians, according to police.
The driver fled the scene of the incident, at a busy intersection in the north of the Canadian city, but was arrested several blocks away.
The arrest followed a tense standoff with officers on the street.
Bystander videos appeared to show the driver pointing an object at the officers, who can be heard shouting at him to get down.
Toronto police spokesperson, Gary Long said:
“Reports were that a white van mounted the kerb, drove down the sidewalk at southbound Yonge, south of Finch, and struck eight to 10 people possibly, the numbers aren’t confirmed yet.”
“Thank you to the first responders working at the scene – we’re monitoring the situation closely.”
The United States and Europe have seen an increase in driving attacks in recent years. In October 2017, a man in New York drove a van down a bicycle path, killing eight people.
Update – 24th April 16:00:
Alek Minassian, 25, was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.
Mr Minassian wore a white jumpsuit, with a shaved head and his hands behind his back. He showed little emotion.
He was read the charges and ordered to have no contact with surviving victims. He will return to court on 10 May.
A man believed to be a relative of Mr Minassian’s sat in the front row of the court and wept. Asked by reporters after the hearing if he had anything to say, the family member replied “sorry.”
by Ben – Correspondent for the General News section.