Police on the scene after a van plowed into pedestrians in Toronto on April 23, 2018. – Photographer: Cole Burston/Getty Images
TORONTO: A van struck and killed 10 pedestrians Monday afternoon in north Toronto and the driver fled the scene, Canadian police said. Fifteen others were injured in the incident. Authorities said the van has been found and the driver was in custody. Police said they did not yet know the cause or any possible motive.
A Toronto man was charged with 10 counts of first degree murder and 13 of attempted murder after a van struck dozens of pedestrians on a busy sidewalk Monday afternoon in the worst mass attack in Canada in almost three decades.
Alek Minassian, 25, appeared in a Toronto court on Tuesday to formally face the charges after a Monday rampage that left 10 people dead and more injured, according to broadcaster CP24.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the incident a “senseless attack,” while saying there’s no evidence of a national security risk or reason to change the country’s threat level. “At this time, we have no reason to suspect that there is any national security element to this attack, but obviously the investigations continue,” Trudeau said in Ottawa on Tuesday.
Monday’s incident marked the worst mass killing in Canada since Marc Lepine killed 14 women at a Montreal engineering school in 1989 before turning the gun on himself. It comes on the heels of several other vehicle attacks around the world, including one in a Berlin Christmas market that killed 12, a van attack in Barcelona that left 13 dead, and the truck loaded with arms that drove into a late-night crowd in Nice, France, in 2016, killing 80 people. A vehicle attack in Edmonton, Alberta, last year injured four pedestrians and a police officer.