TORONTO – A white van plowed on a sidewalk along a busy pedestrian shopping street Monday, killing 10, injuring 15 and leaving one of the safest cities in the world with a massacre that stretched for almost a mile.
Although the officials did not say if the incident was terrorist, this was the last terrible reminder of how a vehicle could be made a weapon – in this case, when it shot people through a crowd at lunchtime on a sunny day and mailboxes and buggies fly, with eyewitnesses described as a deliberate act.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders identified the man as Alek Minassian, a 25-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ontario. Saunders said Minassian is not known to the police, and he has no weapon. The police said they did not know the motive yet. The driver was arrested after a showdown, captured on video, in which he told the officers that he had a gun and said, "shoot me in the head." He pointed an item at the police and threw it on the floor.
Canadian officials were cautious after the incident, saying they needed a long investigation into one of the country's bloodiest mass killings. Canada's Minister of Public Security, Ralph Goodale, said he sees no reason to raise the level of national terrorist threats. The incident had echoes of vehicle attacks in the French city of Nice as well as in London and New York City ̵
"We have lost a tiny bit of our innocence," said John Filion, city council representative of the area where the incident occurred, in a telephone interview on Monday. "We often see ourselves as something excluded from the violence and craziness that is happening in other parts of the world, and they do not think Toronto is a place where this kind of violence will take place."
Peter Yuen, Deputy Chief of Police from Toronto, told reporters: "I can assure the public that all available resources are in place." In the eyes of the Associated Press
Save for a police helicopter orbiting the county. The incident brought an eerie silence to one of the city's busiest streets, filled with people on Monday afternoon from the first warm and sunny days of the year after a long winter
The attack took place in the center of North York, part of Toronto, which has grown into a secondary downtown over the last two decades The area – dotted with shops, condo towers and many Korean restaurants – is so crowded that the Toronto City Council has been debating widening the sidewalks and reducing lanes, to make it more pedestrian friendly this year.  "He started walking on the sidewalk and killing every single person," Ali Shaker, who was near the incident, told CTV News. "He has just destroyed so many lives." He said the driver traveled at an estimated 35 to 45 miles per hour.
Teresa Nolan, who lives nearby, left Sheppard subway station – near where the van stopped – shortly after the incident became "an eerie scene." She watched as police officers arrested the suspect and heard bystanders how they performed CPR on the injured.
"I watched everything, but did not really take it all to the end," she said.
Nolan has lived in the area for nearly two years and "just loves his whole multicultural feeling."
She lives alone and says she finds the community safe
"I would never let that scare me off," said you.
Late on Monday evening, Irene Lan, who said that she had not followed the news all day, came to the area and hoped to pick up her favorite Korean restaurant for dinner.
She was confused to find out what was normally going on. The street became something of a ghost town.
"It's absolutely shocking," she said.
Sunnbrook Hospital, a trauma center near the site, said it received 10 victims, all adults. Two were declared dead, five were in critical condition and the remainder were in serious condition, according to Dan Cass, vice president of the hospital.
Canadians are proud to live in a country where crime is generally low and ethnic diversity is celebrated rather than dreaded; several terrorist incidents in recent years have reminded the public that Canada is not immune to it the events that have hit Europe and the United States. According to the AP, Deputy Chief of the Toronto Police Department, Peter Yuen, informed of journalists.
Abdulahi Hasan Sharif was arrested in Edmonton, Alberta, in September after he had two police station incidents that same evening, in which case Sharif, a Somali refugee, was reportedly rammed into a police officer He stabbed the policeman and escaped a few hours later, when the same man rammed four pedestrians with a rental bus, nobody was killed, but Sharif is on multiple counts for attempted murder
In Quebec City, on the other side of the country, Alexandre Bissonnette is being tried in a court conviction this week, after he has lost his job Last month, he was guilty of a first-degree murder in the shooting of six Muslim men who were praying in a mosque in the city in January 2017. Bissonnette had psychological problems and was attracted to right-wing extremist politics and anti-immigrant rhetoric.
And in 2014, the Canadian Parliament was the scene of another terrorist event. Michael Zehar-Bibeau, a drug addict and converted to Islam, shot and killed a Canadian sentry at the National War Memorial before moving to Parliament, where he was killed in a shootout with security officials.
Coletta reported from Toronto and Freeman from Ottawa.