Van attack accused was briefly in Armed Forces, officials say
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 25, 2018,
Apr 25, 2018, 2:25
"I've watched him grow up, basically", longtime neighbour Colin Hellens said.
"He reacted to what he was seeing, what his training taught him, and we're extremely proud of him".
The man, later identified by authorities as Alek Minassian, had just plowed into a crowd of pedestrians on a sidewalk at more than 30 miles per hour, killing 10 and wounding 15 more.
Charges against a driver accused of running down pedestrians in Toronto, Canada are expected to be made public Tuesday when he makes his first court appearance. The representative spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the news media.
Mike McCormack of the Toronto Police Association said Tuesday "We're extremely proud of him", and adds, "He may have prevented additional deaths".
Restaurant manager Noorani Barsat said he raced outside after hearing a commotion to find a badly injured man lying nearby. He is also listed as a research assistant in a software development project on a Seneca website.
Alleged Toronto van attack perpetrator Alek Minassian may have subscribed to an online misogynist movement.
Before his killing spree, Minassian had made Facebook posts referencing a a rebellion of "incels", or men who are "involuntarily celibate" because women refuse to sleep with them.
"He would also open his shirt and spit on himself in the middle of class", said Blaff, who was in the same Grade 10 computer science class as Minassian.
Police said Tuesday that they are looking at the Facebook post as part of their investigation.
"He then proceeded to rent a panel-style van".
A memorial near where the incident took place on the east side of Yonge Street continues to grow with candles, flowers and messages of support to the victims in Monday's attack. Graham Gibson of the Toronto Police.
Blaff said he never feared Minassian, who he hasn't seen since graduating in 2012, and didn't think girls seemed uncomfortable around him.
"You'd say, 'Hello, ' and he wouldn't say nothing, but a lot of people here don't", the neighbour said.
Fellow students who attended a Toronto vocational school with Alek M. described him as withdrawn and a bit awkward, but one classmate remembered him as "absolutely harmless".
The first victim publicly identified after a van plowed down a Toronto sidewalk, killing 10 people, was a woman who worked at an investment management firm and enjoyed sports and volunteering. "The actions definitely looked deliberate", said Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders. Saunders later said the man did not have a gun. Police have not yet released the names and ages of the victims, or a possible motive.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the deadly attack Tuesday morning, emphasizing that it did not indicate any terroristic threat towards Canadian national security.
"We can not, as Canadians, choose to live in fear every single day as we go about our daily business", Trudeau said.
Ralph Goodale, Canada's minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, said on Twitter that he was "grateful for the courageous and professional response of @TorontoPolice and other first responders to the horrific attack at Yonge and Finch", the streets where the attack took place.