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Toronto van attack: What we know so far

Last Updated Apr 25, 2018 at 9:40 am EDT

Details continue to emerge after a deadly attack in Toronto on Monday afternoon. Ten people were killed and 14 others injured when a man drove a rental van into people walking on a busy stretch of Yonge Street — between Finch and Sheppard avenues. Here’s what we know so far.

VICTIMS IDENTIFIED

One of the victims killed in the attack is Anne Marie D’Amico, an employee at Invesco, a U.S.-based investment management firm with offices at Yonge and Park Home Avenue.

She was one of the people taken to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where she was pronounced dead. D’Amico had also worked with Tennis Canada and the Badminton and Racquet Club of Toronto.

Dorothy Sewell, 80, was confirmed to be one of the victims by her grandson, Elwood Delaney.

He released a statement to CityNews saying Dorothy was, “the best grandmother anyone could have asked for. Almost had as much love for the blue jays and leafs as she did for her family.”

Chul Min Kang, who goes by the name “Eddie,” was a chef at the Adelaide Street location of Copacabana.

Seneca College said a female student was among the dead as well.

The South Korean government confirmed two of its citizens died and one was seriously injured in the attack, according to the Yonhap News Agency. And the Jordanian embassy in Ottawa said one of its citizens was killed. Their identities have not been released.

The Jordanian embassy in Ottawa says one of its citizens was among 10 people killed when a van mounted a sidewalk and rammed into pedestrians in Toronto. The embassy would not provide further details.

Dr. Dirk Huyer, chief coroner for Ontario, said his office wouldn’t be able to positively confirm the identities of any of the victims for days.

SUSPECT CHARGED WITH FIRST-DEGREE MURDER

Police arrested Alek Minassian, 25, seven minutes after the first 911 call before 1:30 p.m. on Monday. Earlier, police said it was about half an hour between the call and the arrest.

The Richmond Hill resident appeared in court Tuesday morning and was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder. Det.-Sgt. Graham Gibson said police expect to lay a 14th charge of attempted murder.

Police said they previously believed 15 people had been injured, but that was a miscount.

Minassian is being held in custody.

A LinkedIn profile identified Minassian as a Seneca College student from 2011 to 2018, and described him as focused on computer science.

Facebook has confirmed that a widely circulated post that praises Elliot Rodger, who killed six people and then himself at the University of California in 2014, appears to have come from Minassian’s account, though it says it’s impossible to know who was using the account at the time the post was made.

Facebook has since deleted Minassian’s profile.

Minassian was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces for two months in 2017, Federal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan confirmed. He trained as a recruit for 16 days before voluntary release, meaning he chose not to continue.

An app designed to help people find parking spots in Toronto lists an Alek Minassian as its developer.

Police seized Minassian’s cellphone at the scene.

SECURITY CONCERNS

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said while the investigation into the attack is still underway, there is no evidence to suggest it was related to terrorism.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said there is no threat to national security, and Canada’s risk level remains unchanged at medium.

However, concrete barriers have now been installed at Union Station to prevent vehicles from mounting the curb, and some were also delivered to Rogers Centre Tuesday morning.

ARRESTING OFFICER HAILED A HERO

Minassian was arrested after a brief standoff with a lone police officer not far from the incident site. The officer is being hailed as a hero for taking Minassian into custody without firing his weapon.

According to media reports, the officer is Const. Ken Lam, 43, who has worked with the Toronto Police Service for seven years.

“It’s one shining moment in an absolutely game-changing, abysmal, horrific day in the city of Toronto,” Toronto police union head Mike McCormack said. “The one … positive to take away from that day was (the officer’s) behaviour.”

MAKESHIFT MEMORIAL GROWS

A makeshift memorial was set up in Olive Square, a parkette at Yonge and Finch, just hours after the attack. It’s steps away from where the incident began.

People have been leaving flowers and candles and writing messages of support and condolence.

The Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square has been dimmed and the official flags at Toronto City Hall, all civic centres and Metro Hall are flying at half-mast.

TORONTO STRONG
The City of Toronto has created the #TorontoStrong Fund in support of the victims, their families, as well as first responders and those affected by the trauma.

Officials will work with supporting organizations, such as Victim Services Toronto, to coordinate efforts and to make sure the money is put toward helping those who need it most.

CLOSURES AND TTC SERVICE DISRUPTIONS

Yonge Street has reopened between Finch and Sheppard Avenues. Police said they are still in the area for the investigation and are asking people to continue to stay away for the next few days unless they live or work in the area.

Trains were bypassing North York Centre Station on Line 1, but service resumed on Tuesday evening.

North York Civic Centre, Mel Lastman Square and Douglas Snow Aquatic Centre were closed Tuesday. They will reopen Wednesday.

Check the City of Toronto website for more information.

With files from The Canadian Press