Man Arrested After Toronto Terrorist Attack Charged with 10 Counts of First-Degree Murder
The man taken into custody after pedestrians were mowed down on a busy Toronto street Monday has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.
Alek Minassian, 25, was arrested after he drove a van down a busy stretch of Yonge Street, between Sheppard and Finch avenues, and left a trail of carnage and panic in its wake.
Minassian appeared in court Tuesday morning.
Earlier, one of the 10 people killed in the attack was identified as Anne Marie D'Amico, CBC News has learned.
D'Amico was reportedly an employee at Invesco, a U.S.-based investment management firm. Her next of kin have been notified. Invesco's Canadian headquarters are on Yonge Street, between Sheppard and Finch, close to the nearly one-kilometre stretch of Yonge Street where pedestrians were struck. Fifteen other people were injured and hospitalized.
Peter Intraligi, president of Invesco Canada, confirmed D'Amico's passing in an emailed statement.
"Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those impacted by this tragic event," Intraligi said. "I can now confirm that unfortunately one of our employees has succumbed to her injuries. Out of respect for her and her family, we will not be providing any further comments."
D'Amico's colleague at Invesco, Jon Tam, said she was "full of life, loved to travel, loved to help volunteer."
He said the workplace has been devastated by the news that D'Amico is among the victims.
"She was a very warm, friendly presence in the office. Always smiling," he said in an interview with CBC's Metro Morning. "I'll definitely be missing seeing that smile around the office."
Police say the probe into the attack will take time as investigators appeal for information to help them identify victims and determine a motive.
"We're all putting our pieces together to see exactly what we have," Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said Monday night as he confirmed that the death toll had risen to 10, with 15 more injured.
Saunders told reporters that the majority of victims had not yet been identified.
He said the attack "definitely appeared deliberate," but what motivated it was less clear.
Speaking to reporters early Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there is no evidence to suggest the "horrific" and "senseless" attack has a national security element.
A resident of the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill, Minassian was not known to police, Saunders said.
Minassian, listed on his LinkedIn profile as a college student from 2011-2018, appeared to have been brought into custody without serious injury.
Garry Clement, a former RCMP superintendent and current CEO of Clement Advisory Group, told CBC's As It Happens that he thinks the officers involved "deserve to be commended because they demonstrated a lot of restraint."
Saunders said officers in Toronto are taught to use as "little force as possible in any given situation."
The chief couldn't say exactly what was in the man's hand, but said there's no indication the man had a gun when he was arrested.
He praised his officers for their efforts, saying police were working extra hours and focusing on priority calls as the investigation unfolds.
When asked if the city is safe, Saunders said: "Yes, the city is safe."
Part of the investigation will involve trying to understand what prompted someone to turn a rental van into a weapon.
Kenneth Wu, one of many people who saw the van on the move, told CBC News he saw the van strike a woman and then locked eyes with the driver.
"As soon as he passed my car, he turned around and looked at me face-to-face," Wu said. "That's when I saw he was a very angry and scared young guy."
Saunders said police are still investigating — and collaborating with provincial and federal counterparts — as they work at the scene, gather information and talk to witnesses.
The attack has shaken the city, but for many from the area, it has hit particularly hard.
Colin Gervais, who lives in the neighbourhood, came out to pay his respects.
"It could have been me, easily."
Racha Tfaili, another area resident, said the attack made her nervous — and sad for those who have lost loved ones.
"I couldn't believe that it was basically at our doorstep," she said. "Our hearts are with all of the families who lost somebody today."
On Monday, acting EMS supervisor John Flengas described the scene as "pure carnage."
Sunnybrook Hospital, which accepted many of the injured, said "our thoughts are with all those affected by today's tragic incident."
"We would like to thank all first responders, our health system partners, and the many teams in our hospital for their tremendous work today."