Amidst the havoc wreaked by a driver plowing a van through pedestrians in Toronto on Monday, the man who brought the incident to a surprisingly composed conclusion remained seemingly unfazed.
Const. Ken Lam, a Toronto police veteran of seven years, is being hailed as a hero for his expert handling of a volatile situation when he came face-to-face with Alek Minassian, now charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder so far.
When confronted by Minassian pointing a possible weapon at him, Lam showed an incredible amount of restraint and chose to de-escalate the situation — which ended with Minassian dropping the object in his hand and surrendering, face down on the sidewalk.
While praise was pouring in for Lam as social media video of the interaction went viral, his family had no idea he was the “hero cop” till much later on Monday evening. All they had seen was a blurry image of a cop and the suspect.
Lam’s father, David, says he only found out when his son — who spent most of the night assisting with the investigation — texted him.
“I never (knew) until my son text me the message and call me…everything’s settled…that’s all I know…I (didn’t) even know what’s happening”
A former Sergeant of Auxiliary Police in Hong Kong, David says he’s proud of his son but stops short of calling him a hero, praising instead the professional training provided by the Toronto Police Service.
In an interview with OMNI’s Mandarin reporter Jie Yang at his Kennedy Road restaurant, David says his son was doing the job he was trained for.
“The responsibility of a police officer is to minimize causalities … because they are trained for that,” he says.
As a former cop, he says he understands the perils of the job and the training provided to deal with dangerous situations.
When asked how he feels as a father, Lam remains matter-of-fact.
“I’ve never worried about him. He loves doing his job, I’ve got nothing to worry about,” adding that he’s happy his son “successfully handled the situation.”
“He didn’t fire his gun and no one got injured (in the interaction). He did his job,” he said.
Const. Ken Lam worked as a Bell engineer for over 10 years before he chose to join the Toronto Police Service, following in his father’s footsteps — a decision Lam Sr. couldn’t be more proud of. He even wore his old uniform to his son’s police graduation ceremony.
David says being a police officer may be demanding, but it’s also very rewarding.
“I think being a cop is a challenging job, but I would encourage young people to join the police force”