Motive Still Unclear in Toronto Van Attack

The 25-year-old suspect, Alek Minassian, was charged Tuesday with first degree murder in the deaths of 10 pedestrians he mowed down in the rented van he sent careening along the busy walkway.

Soon after, the alleged driver of the van was arrested by a lone police officer, since identified as Ken Lam, in a confrontation lasting less than a minute and caught on video by bystanders. "He had several tics and would sometimes grab the top of his shirt and spit on it, meow in the hallways and say, 'I am afraid of girls.' It was like a mantra". A Facebook spokeswoman and law enforcement officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Campbell said investigators believe the post refers to the man who killed six and injured 14 in a drive-by shooting and vehicle ramming attack near the University of California Santa Barbara campus in 2014. "It's not only devastating for the victims (in Toronto), it's also devastating for Elliot's victims, to bring this all up again and make a hero out of a very disturbed individual", Peter Rodger told the Daily News. Rodger had also called himself an "incel".

The term is shorthand used in some online message boards for "involuntary celibacy", a loose social media movement of men who blame women for their celibacy.

Incel forum contributors on Incels.me have praised Minassian for carrying out the attack.

They are united by the fact that women will not have sex with them, usually attributed to shallow obsessions with looks or superficial personality, and by their hatred of "Chads" and "Stacys", the men and women who have sex.

According to BuzzFeed, Minassian was a student at Seneca College's Centre for Development of Open Technology (CDOT), which focuses on developing open-source software.

Alek Minassian was a member of the forces from August 23, 2017, until October 25, 2017, a spokeswoman with the Department of National Defence said. The judge ordered him detained without bond and scheduled the next hearing for May 10.

"I think the city could be taking measures to better prevent the sort of thing that happened from occurring", Campbell said.

The suspect was seen pointing an item at the officer during the interaction but police later confirmed that the object was not in fact a weapon.

Minassian was represented at the hearing by a court-appointed lawyer with whom he had an extended, whispered conversation from a prisoners' box.

McCormack said the officer was one of many first responders who ran towards the danger as the van mounted the sidewalk between Finch Avenue and Sheppard Avenue.

Two of Sewell's neighbors, Paul and Eweline Matusiewicz, choked back tears at a shrine of flowers on Yonge Street, where they were paying their respects. But then he noticed four to five victims on the ground as he drove a few meters further.

"Toronto was a great city yesterday, it is a great city today and it will be a great city tomorrow", he said.

In those cities, the attacks have sparked debates that may come to define how local governments ensure the safety of their citizens in public spaces.

In Toronto, Canadian rapper Maestro Fresh Wes returned Tuesday to the scene of the rampage, pausing by a newly erected memorial.

Other Torontonians, still in shock, were adamant that the city would quickly recover.

  • Leroy Wright


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