Van suspect held on murder charges


And the Toronto police officer who arrested Alek Minassian, who during a tense standoff repeatedly yelled that he wanted the officer to shoot him, is receiving wide praise for his restraint. Police have not said whether the person in the cell phone video was Minassian.

Toronto's police chief, Mark Saunders, said nothing was being ruled out, and Minassian was not previously known to police.

"We stand with all the families of the victims", Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday at a news conference.

Authorities said Minassian had no police record, and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale downplayed a theory of a terror attack such as those carried out by extremists in London, Nice and other major cities, saying there was "no discernable connection to national security".

In a Toronto court Tuesday, Minassian wore a white prison jumpsuit with his hands cuffed behind his back.

The attack shook the usually peaceful streets of Toronto, a major tourist destination. The city recorded 61 murders previous year.

Toronto Mayor John Tory announced that while all the victimes may not be identified, "we can be sure they were people who were loved". Downtown Toronto's iconic CN Tower, which is normally lit up in the evening, went dark on Monday evening. Witnesses said the van jumped a curb and roared through a crowded pedestrian zone in what appeared to be a deliberate act. He said he saw the van hit a man and a woman. "He kept going, he kept going".

"One of the most happiest and cheerful people you will ever meet", he told CTV News Channel on Tuesday.

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In the wake of the attack, a tarp covered a body outside Ssam, a Korean barbecue restaurant just north of the food stall.

Lam spoke loudly and calmly, even as the suspect encouraged the officer to shoot him.

"I can tell you that law enforcement officer was probably a lot more patient than some would have been in the situation where you have someone who is pointing a gun at law enforcement".

A Toronto police official says the man accused of driving a rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in Toronto posted a "cryptic" Facebook message minutes before the attack.

The hefty van plowed down a busy Toronto street Monday with reckless abandon, swerving into the wrong lanes of traffic and careening onto a sidewalk. "I've never had any doubts that it was a safe neighbourhood, and so we just want answers", she said. In October, eight people died in NY when a man driving a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists on a bike path. The incident had echoes of vehicle attacks in the French city of Nice, as well as in London, Berlin and New York City - a method that the Islamic State militant group has encouraged followers to use.

Last month, a former Canadian university student pleaded guilty to killing six men praying in a Quebec City mosque in January 2017.

"Two South Koreans were additionally reported to have been seriously wounded from the latest vehicle rush attack", the ministry said, citing information from the Canadian police. According to government data there were 27,816 Korean global students in Canada in 2015, the third-highest of any country, behind China and India.

The incident occurred as Cabinet ministers from the major industrial countries were gathered in Canada to discuss a range of global issues in the run-up to the G7 meeting near Quebec City in June.