Toronto van attack suspect was student, ex-military recruit


Alek Minassian, 25, appeared in a Toronto court on Tuesday and was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder after a rental van mowed down pedestrians along bustling Yonge Street in the north end of the city Monday.

In the wake of other attacks, Vancouver police have steadily escalated security around special events where thousands of people make a soft target, including placing "heavy barriers" such as garbage trucks used at Canada Day gathering and the Celebration of Light.

Mike McCormack, the president of the Toronto Police Association, said the officer - who has been with the force for more than seven years - would have been justified if he had chose to fire at the suspect.

Authorities have not yet released a list of victims.

Minassian did not express strong ideological views or harass women, Blaff said, but he was isolated and others privately made fun of him.

A Jordanian citizen and two South Koreans were also among those killed. Minassian also referenced the online message board, "4chan".

The post openly praises Elliot Rodger, a man who killed six people and then himself at the University of California in 2014. "We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys!" In a manifesto and video, posted before his attack in CA, Rodger spoke about women who declined his advances, labeling men like him "incels", a term used by some meaning "involuntarily celibate". Like-minded people in internet forums sometimes use "Chad" and "Stacy" as dismissive slang for men and women with more robust sex lives.

Officials have said that although the attack has the hallmarks of other deadly vehicle assaults by Islamic State supporters in the United States and Europe, they say it did not represent a threat to national security.

"I want to thank them for their courage and professionalism", he tweeted shortly after the attack.

"This isn't to say everything's hunky dory in Canada", Wiseman added. Tonight we celebrated Mass for all who have died.

More: After Toronto van attack, Canadians mourn and ask: Why? But the main difference, she contends, is tighter gun regulations in Canada.

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In 2016, she was voted Rogers Cup volunteer of the year, Tennis Canada said.

In this courtroom sketch, Duty counsel Georgia Koulis, from left, Alek Minassian, Justice of the Peace Stephen Waisberg, and Crown prosecutor Joe Callaghan appear in court in Toronto on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

And in Quebec in October 2014, a Canadian man ran over two soldiers in a parking lot with his auto, killing one of them.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said the city will recover.

"If you're walking by yourself on the street, don't have your head down, be aware of where you are and what you're doing", Sgt. Jason Robillard told The Canadian Press Tuesday. The street was soon covered in blood, empty shoes and bodies.

"Yesterday was the most attractive day of the year and then look what happened", he said.

Other Torontonians, still in shock, were adamant that the city would quickly recover.

Transit has also been impacted due to closures in the area.

"Whether you kept in touch with her very closely or you didn't talk to her for this past year, it just felt like you saw her smile yesterday", he said.

David said he has only spoken with his son once since the arrest and doesn't know the exact details of what happened. "Many times our officers are dealing with people in situations that's resolved in a peaceful way".