A white van plowed into pedestrians on one of the main commercial streets in Toronto, leaving 10 people dead and 15 injured. The incident does not seem to be related to terrorism, Canadian officials said, but it was done deliberately by the driver, who was taken into custody.
Police car in Canada
On Monday, a van rammed into pedestrians on a busy sidewalk in Toronto, killing 10 and injuring 15. According to Canadian officials, the incident does not appear to have any connection to national security. However, police officials claimed it was a deliberate act.
Canadian Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale stated: “The events that happened on the street behind us are horrendous, but they do not appear to be connected in any way to national security based on the information at this time.”
The driver, identified as Alek Minassian, 25, was arrested after he initially fled the scene. Footage of the arrest shows officers warning Minassian that he will be shot if he does not lie on the ground. Minassian shouted back at the officers, “Shoot me in the head.” Minassian was eventually taken into custody without any shots being fired.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented on the incident and offered his condolences to families of the victims. Trudeau also said that the incident is under investigation and thanked the first responders, “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.”
Tonight, the hearts & thoughts of an entire country are with the families and friends of those killed in Toronto today. We also wish all those injured a fast and full recovery. Full statement: https://t.co/TbgMTDXhJB
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 24, 2018
An eyewitness who was out for a cigarette and saw the driver hit a man walking through the intersection told CTV News, “And then, just pandemonium broke loose, just everyone was going crazy.”
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarified that no Israelis were involved in the incident and that all consulate workers in Canada are safe and sound.