On Monday afternoon, a van struck and skilled ten people along with injuring fifteen more in north Toronto. The attack occurred at around 1:30 p.m on busy Yonge Street. The streets were crowded with people enjoying the unseasonably warm day when the van went onto the sidewalk. The suspect, Alek Minassian, yelled at police to kill him and claimed to have a gun. However, police showed restraint and were able to arrest Minassian. Police announced the suspect is from Richmond Hill – a town located in Ontario Canada. Authorities say that he was not previously known to police.
When asked if there was any evidence the attack could be connected to international Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said, “Based on what we have there’s nothing that has it to compromise the national security at this time.” At that same press conference, the chief raised the death count from nine to ten. U.S law enforcement believes that the incident was a deliberate act. Witness also say the driver appeared to be acting deliberately; he was driving very fast and made no effort to stop.
Deputy Chief Peter Yuen released no details about the investigation. An unnamed senior national government official said authorities had not turned the investigation over to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a move that shows investigators don’t believe the attack was motivated by terrorism. Yuen did say, “I can assure the public all our available resources have been brought in to investigate this tragic situation.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau an official statement along with messages of support on Twitter. The first tweet was a link to Trudeau’s official announcement and the second was a thank you message to Toronto’s first responders. Vice President Mike Pence also sent out a tweet, writing that he and President Trump were monitoring the situation and send their support.
The incident happened at a time where many Cabinet ministers from the major industrial countries were gathered in Canada to discuss international issues in preparation for the upcoming G7 meeting in Québec City. The G7 foreign ministers extended their condolences.