The residents of Toronto, Canada are trying to process the horror of the news that a local man killed 10 pedestrians after he ran them over while driving a van at full-speed.
CNN has all the details surrounding the terrifying murders of 10 Toronto pedestrians, who were all killed by Alek Minassian as he plowed into them while driving. It has also just been announced that Minassian is officially charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder for taking the lives of his unsuspecting victims.
No one knows why a rental van plowed into Toronto pedestrians for nearly a mile — except for the driver himself. By the end of the melee Monday, 10 pedestrians were killed. Another 15 were injured. And now the suspect is in custody, though the reason for the devastation remains unclear.
Investigators hope to get more answers when the suspect, Alek Minassian of Richmond Hill, Ontario, appears in court at 10 a.m. ET Tuesday. So far, officials aren’t calling this an act of terrorism. “There would appear to be no national security connection,” Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said. But Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said “it’s very clear just from a general perspective to say that the actions definitely look deliberate.” The van sped down a busy street Monday with reckless abandon, swerving into the wrong lanes of traffic and careening onto a sidewalk. Minassian was arrested in a white rental van less than 30 minutes after police received a 911 call, Saunders said.
Investigators found a Facebook account they believe belongs to Minassian, CNN law enforcement analyst Josh Campbell said. A message posted on the account earlier Monday read: “All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!” Campbell said investigators believe the post refers to the man who killed six and injured 14 in a drive-by shooting and vehicle ramming attack near the University of California Santa Barbara campus in 2014. Rodger later died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences to the families of the victims, while also acknowledging the hard work of first responders. Speaking to the press about the deadly attack, he said “We should all feel safe walking in our cities and communities. 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.”
Trudeau continued his statements by hoping for a motive sooner rather than later. “Obviously all Canadians continue and will continue to have questions about why this happened, what could possibly be the motive behind it.”
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