Toronto van attack leaves 10 pedestrians dead

Police are still questioning the 25-year-old suspect, in what police believe to be a deliberate attack 

Ten people have been killed and 15 other injured after a van sped on to a sidewalk in Toronto, ploughing through pedestrians.

The incident occurred around lunchtime on one of the city’s first warm days of the year. Emergency services received several frantic calls about a vehicle that appeared to be striking pedestrians along Yonge Street, one of the city’s main arteries.

Toronto’s police chief told reporters that the incident appeared to be deliberate,

The vehicle weaved onto the sidewalk and into oncoming traffic for about three kilometres, he said.

Alek Minassian, a 25-year-old man from the nearby town of Richmond Hill, was arrested after a brief confrontation with police.

The events that happened on the streets behind us are horrendous,” said Canada’s public safety minister, Ralph Goodale. “But they do not appear to be connected in any way to national security based on the information available at this time.”

A makeshift memorial was set up on Yonge Street (Photo: Getty Images)
A makeshift memorial was set up on Yonge Street (Photo: Getty Images)

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, offered his condolences to the loved ones of those killed in what he described as a “tragic and senseless attack” and wished those injured a fast and full recovery.

“We should all feel safe walking in our cities and communities,” he said in a statement. “We are monitoring this situation closely, and will continue working with our law enforcement partners around the country to ensure the safety and security of all Canadians.”

The White House also issued a statement saying the US was ready to “provide any support Canada may need”.

On Monday evening, Saunders said the majority of the victims had yet to be identified. “Anywhere that this type of event happens, it is shocking. I think we recognise that Toronto is the fourth-largest urban city in North America … and things do happen.”

Witnesses described how the van ploughed into several pedestrians, In a video, a tense standoff can be seen between police and the suspect, as he tells them to kill him.

“Kill me,” he tells the lone officer. “I have a gun in my pocket.”

The officer warned him if he does not get on the ground, he will be shot. “Shoot me in the head,” he tells them. The officer then arrested the suspect without firing any shots.

More in World