TORONTO – A 25-year-old suspect accused of slaughtering pedestrians with a van in a bustling Toronto shopping district was ordered on Tuesday in ten cases of first-degree murder – one of each of the victims in an attack whose motives are still unclear.
The authorities said Monday's massacre did not pose a threat to national security, suggesting that it was not originally considered a possible terrorist link.
However, the investigators have not specified what could have resulted in suspect Alek Minassian plowing the rented van through crowds on a warm spring afternoon ̵
Minassian confirmed his name for the court. He then answered "yes" when asked if he had heard a court order not to have contact with the victims or their families.
The next hearing was scheduled for May 10th. Minassian has been detained pending a probationary hearing  In the meantime, officials will try to put together the planning and motives for a suspect who was not previously on a watch list of law enforcement agencies. Witnesses reported that the car had jumped over a curb and yelled in a crowded pedestrian street, which was apparently a deliberate act.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a press conference that the incident was a "senseless attack and a horrific tragedy" He noted that the authorities did not see any element of national security in this attack, leaving traces in earlier New York and some European cities Wore vehicle-as-weapons attacks.
Trudeau added that the attack "did not change the overall level of threat to Canada," even though it was held as an envoy from the Group of Seven Industrialized Countries in Toronto.
Meanwhile, the first victim to be publicly identified was Anne Marie D & # 39; Amico, an employee of investment firm Invesco, has called his Canadian headquarters on Yonge Street where the attack took place.
"I can now confirm that unfortunately one of our employees succumbed to her injuries," said Peter Intraligi, President of Inv Esco Canada, in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with everyone affected by this tragic event."
Toronto Police Chief identified the driver as Minassian from Richmond Hill, Ontario. Minassian, who was not carrying a gun, was detained after a showdown in which he swung an item and told the officers, "Shoot me in the head."
"Based on all available information at the present time, there seems to be no national security link to this particular incident," said Ralph Goodale, public safety minister in Canada, late Monday. "The events that happened behind us on the street are appalling, but they do not seem to be in any way related to national security because of the information available at the time."
The police chief of Toronto, Mark Saunders, said nothing was out of the question, and Minassian was not yet known to the police. 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 has encouraged the militant group of the Islamic State its supporters.
"We've lost our innocence a bit," said John Filion, a city council member representing the area in which the incident occurred, in a telephone interview Monday. "We often see ourselves as something excluded from the violence and craziness that is happening in other parts of the world, and Toronto is not considered a place where this kind of violence will take place."
The attack was at the center held by North York, a part of Toronto that has grown to a large extent in Toronto over the last two decades is a secondary downtown.
The area is so busy that the Toronto City Council debated earlier this year to widen the sidewalks and reduce the lanes to make them pedestrian friendly.
"He started walking on the sidewalk and crumbling people one by one," Ali Shaker, who was near the incident, told CTV News. "He has just destroyed so many lives." He said the driver was traveling at an estimated 35 to 45 miles per hour.
Canadians are proud to live in a country where crime is generally low and ethnic diversity is celebrated rather than feared Several terrorist incidents in recent years have reminded the public that Canada is not immune to the events is that Europe and the United States have met.
In September, Abdulahi Hasan Sharif was arrested in Edmonton, Alberta, after two years of similar incidents the same evening. In the first case, Sharif, a Somali refugee, was allegedly rammed into a police officer who was near a sporting event near a police roadblock. Then he stabbed the policeman and escaped. A few hours later, the same man reportedly rammed four pedestrians with a rental bus. No one was killed, but Sharif is on multiple charges for attempted murder.
Alexandre Bissonnette is in Quebec City after being convicted last month after being convicted of six counts of first-degree murder in the past month Muslim men took part in prayers in a mosque in the city in January 2017 part. 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-related incident. Michael Zehar-Bibeau, a drug addict and converted to Islam, shot and killed a Canadian post at the National War Memorial before moving to Parliament where he was killed in a shoot-out with security officials.
Brian Murphy in Washington contributed to this report.