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Witness: Van Struck 'every Single Thing' on Toronto Sidewalk 

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Old 04-23-2018, 02:57 PM
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Police have arrested a suspect after a white van mounted the curb and struck numerous pedestrians in Toronto.

The incident happened on Yonge Street south of Finch Avenue, according to the Toronto Police Service. Initial estimates suggest eight to 10 people were struck.

Witness Alex Shaker, who was driving southbound at the time, says the van was travelling at high speed on the sidewalk. The van was also southbound.

“He started going down on the sidewalk and crumbling down people one by one,” Shaker told CTV News Channel on Monday afternoon.

Shaker said he saw the vehicle strike someone with a stroller.

“He just destroyed so many people’s lives,” he said. “Every single thing that got in his way.”

The extent of injuries is unknown and ambulances are on the scene. Photos posted online show multiple individuals on the ground.

Witness Phil Zullo, who was driving northbound, says he first noticed the commotion when he saw police taking down a male suspect.

Zullo says he continued north, where he saw “shoes and hats flown everywhere.”

Video shared with CTV News shows the suspect pointing a small, dark object at police, with his back to the van. Police can be seen taking cover behind their vehicle and shouting at him to get down.

“Get down!” the officer is heard shouting.

“I have a gun in my pocket,” the suspect can be heard saying.

“Get down or you’ll be shot!” the officer says.

The camera turns away from the confrontation for approximately eight seconds, then looks back to show the suspect on the ground, face-down, with the officer cuffing him.

Another video recorded from a nearby building shows the moment missed in the previous video. The suspect can be seen walking out in the street with the object in his hand still pointed at the officer. After approximately five seconds he drops the weapon, throws out his arms and backs up to the curb.

The van involved in the collision was found on Poyntz Avenue off of Yonge, just south of Sheppard Avenue West. The van is marked as belonging to the rental company Ryder.

Toronto paramedics are advising people to stay out of the area of Yonge Street near Finch and Sheppard Avenue.

Subway service has been suspended between the TTC’s Sheppard and Finch stations. No replacement shuttle services will be operating.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau briefly addressed the situation before a session in the House of Commons Monday afternoon.

“Our hearts go out to anyone affected,” Trudeau said. “We’re obviously going to have more to learn and more to say in the coming hours.”

TORONTO — As Facebook posts begin to offer clues to his state of mind, it has emerged that Alek Minassian, suspect in Monday’s deadly Toronto van attack, briefly served in the Canadian Armed Forces last year.

Minassian, 25, of Richmond Hill, Ont. was charged with 10 counts of first degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder at the courthouse on Finch Ave. on Tuesday morning. He appeared in court wearing a white jumpsuit, with his hands cuffed behind him.

He made a brief 10 minute appearance before Justice of the Peace Stephen Waisberg, represented by duty counsel Georgia Koulis. He will return next month on the other charges. His head was shaved and his face showed a couple of days’ growth. He spoke to say his name and to say “yes” when asked if he understood the proceedings.

Police arrested Minassian less than half an hour after the incident, which took place at 1:30 p.m. on Monday. Minassian was not known to police before the incident. Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said it was too early to suggest a motive, and emphasized that all aspects are being investigated and nothing has been ruled out.

Officials say Minassian was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces for two months last year. A spokeswoman with the Department of National Defence, Jessica Lamirande, said he was a member of the forces from Aug. 23, 2017 until Oct. 25.

“He did not complete his recruit training and requested to be voluntarily released from the CAF after 16 days of recruit training,” Lamirande said. Facebook post that appears to be from Minassian shortly before the van attack suggests his spark may have been frustration or anger over unsuccessful attempts to attract a female companion.

The strange message says: “Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan please. C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”


An “incel” is a portmanteau of “involuntarily celibate” and came into wide recognition in 2014 after Elliot Rodger, 22, killed six and injured 14 in Isla Vista, California, before killing himself. In a manifesto, he said he needed to punish women for rejecting him and sexually active men for their success where he failed.

Within the incel subculture, “Chads” refer to the sexually successful men and “Stacys” to unattainable women.

A Facebook spokesperson said on background the post seems to be a legitimate post made to Minassian’s Facebook page before the company took it down.

“This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to the people who have been affected,” said a Facebook spokesperson, who asked not to be named. “There is absolutely no place on our platform for people who commit such horrendous acts. We have found and immediately deleted the suspect’s Facebook account.”

Online communities raged from all perspectives on the attack, including some self-professed “incels” who, whether mockingly or seriously, expressed sympathy for the accused and embraced it as a call to arms.

Some members of an incel-dedicated forum branded him “Saint Alek” and “St. Minassian.” Some suggested others ways to continue the attacks so the world of the sexually active would fear them.

“It is a good time to be an incel. Our brothers are launching their counter-attack, getting their revenge. Thank you St. Rodgers, thank you St. Minassian,” one post reads.

“They should be scared, this is what happens when you deny so many men love and affection for their entire lives,” said another.

“Well, he certainly got us noticed,” one member wrote. “It will be interesting to read about Alek’s story as more details about his life unfold. I’d love to know what exactly made him think he was an incel.”

They should be scared, this is what happens when you deny so many men love and affection for their entire lives
On a defunct Steam account, a video game software platform, a user that appears to be Minassian says he is better at shooting games than strategy games. He says he loves the Halo series — a franchise of science fiction-based first-person shooter games — and adds the gamer names of three players who he says are his “real life friends.”

Judging by his relatively slim online presence, Minassian may have been an aspiring software developer. Someone with that name registered an online parking app on Google Play.

A LinkedIn page listed him as a student at Seneca College in Toronto, enrolled between 2011 and 2018.

Minassian was listed as a research assistant in a software development project on a Seneca website. Seneca media relations did not respond to emails and calls Monday evening.

Alexander Alexandrovitch, a former student at Thornlea Secondary School, which Minassian attended, said his former classmate stood out for his odd behaviour.

“I had classes with him. He was mentally unstable back then. He was known to meow like a cat and try to bite people, this is one sad and confusing story,” he said in a Facebook post.

Minassian was “never intentionally violent” in school, he added.

Reza Fakhteh says he also went to school with Minassian for two years at Thornlea. He described Minassian as a special education student who rarely socialized and had no obvious friends.

“I never heard him speak beyond meowing at people,” Fakhteh wrote in a Facebook message. “His movements were erratic and just strange overall. He acted like a cat in every way.”

Fakhteh said he was shocked to hear that Minassian was named as a suspect in this kind of attack.

“To hear he had a driver’s license and someone rented him a van is unbelievable,” he wrote. “The guy I remember from high school definitely wouldn’t be driving.”

On Tuesday, yellow police tape surrounded a two-storey home in suburban Richmond Hill. A police SUV sat out front, blocking access to the drive.

Provincial records show the home belongs to Vahe and Sona Minassian. They bought the property in 1998 for $330,000. A Haig Minassian, born in 1989, listed the home as his residence in a consumer proposal filed in 2012.

Neighbours say Alek Minassian drove the black Infinity still parked on the grey driveway Tuesday. A last huddle of melting April snow dripped away beneath the front bumper.

Wes Mack, who lives nearby, said he didn’t know the family well. But he would occasionally chat with Alek and sometimes saw him jogging. Another neighbour said Alek had a dog.

In a story published in the Richmond Hill Liberal in 2009, a woman named Sona Minassian praised a local program for special needs children. The story said her son, who isn’t named, lived “with a form of autism known as Asperger’s syndrome.” He used the program, called Helpmate, to earn experience in an office setting.

“My son would spend afternoons working with Helpmate. They were sensitive to his needs and now he has a job at Compugen here in town,” Sona Minassian told the paper.

“He was able to take the experience provided by Helpmate and apply it. This kind of service for my son wasn’t available elsewhere. I am convinced that if we didn’t have Helpmate, my son would not have had such an opportunity.”

Neighbour Elaha Jamal said she is out with her dogs a lot and would see the Minassians frequently, and said it was as if the parents had to supervise Alek Minassian and a younger brother constantly, and would not let them roam free.

“They were not okay,” she said. “They were an older couple but they took care of these boys like they were babies.”

Standoff

Minassian was arrested after a man, alleged to be him, was involved in a brief sidewalk standoff with a lone police officer not far from the site of Monday’s van attack that claimed 10 lives.

The suspect was taken into custody after a dramatic few minutes when he faced down an officer, with videos indicating the suspect may have been in the middle of an attempted “suicide by cop.”

The man claimed to have a gun, but remarkably, the officer made the arrest without firing a shot.

Multiple videos posted to social media appeared to show the moment the suspect exited his van to the moment he was put in handcuffs.

After pulling up beside the white rental van, the officer crouched and kept his cruiser between him and the suspect. The suspect, leaving his van parked on the sidewalk, slowly began to approach the officer, extending his arm while appearing to point something at him.

Multiple sirens were heard blaring in the background. Additional officers arrived only as the suspect was apprehended.

The suspect, standing upright and wearing a black coat and black pants, appeared to rapidly reach into his pocket multiple times and then point something at the officer. Unfazed, the officer demanded that he “get down.”
The officer repeated those words another 13 times.

“Come on, get down!” he yelled.

“Kill me,” the man said.

“No, get down!” the officer repeated.

At this point, the officer left the cover of his cruiser and began to circle around the suspect, inching closer.

“I have a gun in my pocket,” the suspect said.

“I don’t care,” the officer answered. “Get down!”
The suspect was then arrested after dropping what had been in his hand and moving to the ground.

Toronto Mayor John Tory called the takedown “a heartening example of courage and good training.”

On Parliament Hill Tuesday morning, where the Peace Tower’s flag was lowered to half mast, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave condolences to the victim’s families, thanked the first responders, and called it “a senseless attack and a horrific tragedy.”
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Old 04-23-2018, 03:42 PM
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Old 04-23-2018, 03:50 PM
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Cant see the picture bro
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Old 04-23-2018, 04:24 PM
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Religion of peace strikes again
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Old 04-23-2018, 04:55 PM
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Religion of peace strikes again
Oh you meen Islam right!!! Lol
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:12 PM
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:24 PM
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Just gonna leave this here...
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:24 PM
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The guy sounds British
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:31 PM
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Religion of peace strikes again
"I see...moo slums..."
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:40 PM
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The latest count has 9 dead, 16 hurt
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:02 PM
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Looks like a Bald headed White Guy??
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:24 PM
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The suspect’s name is Alek Minassian. His surname is of Armenian origin. Now, as for how long he’s been in Canada and what his religious beliefs are, I don’t know.
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Old 04-23-2018, 08:28 PM
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Not a terrorist attack. Just some mentally ill nutjob.
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Old 04-23-2018, 09:21 PM
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Not a terrorist attack. Just some mentally ill nutjob.
Fox News will be disappointed.
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:08 PM
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JC... if this occurred anywhere but canada and he brandished his firearm like that he'd be dead in a half second. Deranged.

I'd post the vid but I'm useless.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4632435
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:18 PM
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Count is 10 dead now.
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:42 PM
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I just heard 10 confirmed dead now.. some speculation based on his social media, its cause he couldnt get a girlfriend.
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:44 PM
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Perp
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:44 PM
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JC... if this occurred anywhere but canada and he brandished his firearm like that he'd be dead in a half second. Deranged.

I'd post the vid but I'm useless.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4632435
I said the same thing like he must have seen that it was a cell phone or he seriously nice cop like wtf
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:47 PM
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Horrific and cowardly act
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