Toronto Van Driver Kills at Least 10 People in ‘Pure Carnage’

TORONTO — The killing began on a busy lunchtime thoroughfare in Toronto on Monday when a white rental Ryder van ran over a pedestrian crossing the street — then mounted a sidewalk and began plowing into people indiscriminately.

“One by one, one by one,” said a witness who identified himself as Ali. “Holy God, I’ve never seen such a sight before. I feel sick.”

By the end, at least 10 people were dead and 15 were injured, said the authorities.

The driver’s actions, they said, appeared intentional, but did not seem to have been an act of terrorism. “The city is safe,” said the Toronto police chief, Mark Saunders.

The driver, who was identified as Alek Minassian, 25, was in custody after initially refusing to surrender.


Get down or you’ll be shot,” the officers warned him after he exited the van in a scene captured on video.

“Shoot me in the head,” Mr. Minassian said.

He was subdued without any shots being fired.

Nearby, the bodies of the dead and injured, some covered by orange tarps, lay on a broad sidewalk that was scattered with debris, including a child’s stroller.

The carnage was reminiscent of deadly attacks by Islamic State supporters using vehicles that have shaken up Nice, France, Berlin, Barcelona, London and New York. But late Monday, Canada’s public safety minister, Ralph Goodale, said this time appeared to be different.

“The events that happened on the street behind us are horrendous,” he said, “but they do not appear to be connected in any way to national security based on the information at this time.”

With the driver under arrest, the Canadian authorities began the process of reconstructing how — and why — a day filled with the promise of early spring became a scene of horror. The authorities released few details about Mr. Minassian on Monday night.

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