10 Dead After Van Strikes Crowd Of Toronto Pedestrians

Tuesday, April 24th 2018, 3:33 am
By: News On 6

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.

CBS News sources identified the suspect as Alek Minassian, 25, and obtained a photo of him from social media Monday. Officials announced he's from Richmond Hill -- a town in Ontario, Canada. They said that the suspect was not know previously to police.

Minassian shouted to police to shoot him, to kill him as police -- with weapons drawn -- ordered him to get down on the ground as they moved in to arrest him, CBS News has learned.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders increased the death toll from nine during a press conference Monday night, noting that one of the victims died at a hospital.

Asked if there was any evidence of a connection to international terrorism, the chief said only, "Based on what we have there's nothing that has it to compromise the national security at this time."

U.S. law enforcement sources told CBS News that the incident appears to be a deliberate act. Witnesses said the driver was moving fast and appeared to be acting deliberately.

Witness Peter Kang told CTV News that the driver did not seem to make any effort to stop.

"If it was an accident he would have stopped," Kang said. "But the person just went through the sidewalk. He could have stopped."

A senior national government official said earlier that authorities had not turned over the investigation to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a sign that investigators believed it unlikely terrorism was the motive. The official agreed to reveal that information only if not quoted by name.

Toronto Police Services Deputy Chief Peter Yuen released no details about the investigation as he announced the casualties.

"I can assure the public all our available resources have been brought in to investigate this tragic situation," Yuen said earlier.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.