Alek Minassian: Picture of suspect emerges after van ploughs into crowd in Toronto, killing ten people

Area crowded with people enjoying unseasonably warm day when van jumped onto the pavement

Jon Sharman
Tuesday 24 April 2018 10:51 BST
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Several injured after van ploughs into pedestrians in Toronto

The first picture has emerged of Toronto van crash suspect Alek Minassian, who is thought to have killed 10 people in the Canadian city on Monday.

He was arrested after a brief confrontation with police, and chief Mark Saunders said the crash “definitely looked deliberate”.

However, officials did not comment on a possible motive except to play down any connection to terrorism.

Minassian was a student at Seneca College in Toronto’s North York area, CBC reported, citing a LinkedIn profile that appeared to have been taken down following the crash.

He was not previously known to police.

Officers suspect Minassian was the driver of a rented white van that ploughed into pedestrians at about 1.30pm local time on Monday, killing 10 people and injuring 15 more.

The driver was heading south on busy Yonge Street and the area was crowded with people enjoying an unseasonably warm day when the van jumped onto the pavement.

Alek Minassian, 25, of Richmond Hill, a suburb north of Toronto, has been arrested after 10 people were killed in the city on Monday (Alek Minassian/LinkedIn)

Ali Shaker, who was driving near the van at the time, told Canadian broadcaster CP24 the driver appeared to deliberately smash into the crowd at more than 30 mph.

Another witness, Peter Kang, told CTV News the van did not appear to be trying to stop.

Toronto van attacker stands off with policeman

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

Shortly before his arrest the driver was caught on video begging a police officer to kill him, and saying he had a gun. But he was taken into custody “without incident”, authorities said.

Police said the suspect was set to appear in court at 10am on Tuesday, and that information on the charges against him would be released at that time.

Additional reporting by agencies

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