Toronto police raise number of injured in van attack
Toronto – Canadian authorities said Friday that they have found two more people who were injured when a van plowed into pedestrians in Toronto, raising the total number to 16. Eight of the 10 people killed in the rampage were women, the chief coroner said.
Officials released the names of the 10 people killed in Monday’s attack, ranging in age from 22 to 94. Earlier, police had said the victims were “predominantly women” but did not provide an exact number.
Homicide Investigator Bryan Bott said prosecutors plan to raise the number of attempted murder charges against van driver Alek Minassian to 16, along with 10 counts of murder.
The additional charges come after two more victims, a 21-year-old male and a 67-year old female, who were injured in the attack but weren’t taken to hospital, contacted police. Minassian has already been charged with 13 counts of attempted murder. The 14th victim was discovered after the charges were filed.
Twelve of the victims remain in hospital, some with serious injuries, while two have been released.
Dr. Dirk Huyer, the chief coroner for Ontario, said the fatal victims include two foreign nationals – Ji Hun Kim, 22, a student from Korea and Munir Abdo Habib Najjar, 85, a man from Jordan who was visiting family in Toronto.
The other victims include Beutis Renuka Amarasingha, 45; Andrea Bradden, 33; Geraldine Brady, 83; So He Chung, 22; Anne Marie D’Amico, 30; Mary Elizabeth Forsyth, 94; Dorothy Sewell, 80 and Chul Min Kang, 45.
“This was a very complex tragedy, continues to involve significant steps of investigation, and given the events and circumstances, we undertook scientific efforts to confirm and ensure all the proper identifications,” Huyer said.
The investigation is complex not only because of the number of victims involved but because of the extent of the area involved, which covered several blocks on Yonge Street, one of the Toronto’s most well-known and heavily trafficked streets.
After watching surveillance video, police said they had a better sense of how the carnage unfolded.
Bott said the suspect allegedly rented a cargo van and drove it directly to Yonge Street, where he headed southbound, mounting a curb and then crossing into oncoming lanes of traffic. He then mounted a median, crossed back into the southbound lanes of Yonge, mounting a curb and continuing until he reached a laneway, where he headed west before turning south. He turned east, mounting another curb onto the sidewalk again before rejoining Yonge.
Misannian then drove on a sidewalk before turning and getting out of the van. He was then confronted by Const. Ken Lam, who deescalated the situation and arrested Minassian without firing his weapon.
The rampage lasted approximately seven minutes, during which time a total of 26 people were struck, said Bott.
Bott said 25 of the victims were on various sidewalks, while one was on a roadway.
Police have said that shortly before the attack, the suspect posted a Facebook message indicating anger toward women, but have declined to reveal what they believe was the motive for the attack.
The now-deleted post saluted Elliot Rodger, a community college student who killed six people and wounded 13 in shooting and stabbing attacks near the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2014.
Calling Rodger “the Supreme Gentleman,” the Facebook post declared: “The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys!”
Rodger had used the term “incel” – for involuntarily celibate – in online posts raging at women for rejecting him romantically. Like-minded people in internet forums sometimes use “Chad” and “Stacy” as dismissive slang for men and women with more robust sex lives.
The anti-women sentiment recalled the 1989 massacre at the Ecole Polytechnique, an engineering college in Montreal, when 25-year-old Marc Lepine entered a classroom, separated the men from the women, told the men to leave and opened fire, killing 14 women before killing himself. In a suicide note, he blamed feminists for ruining his life.