The Latest: Police officer says most victims of attack women

The Latest: Police officer says most victims of attack women
The Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) — The Latest on the incident in which a van plowed down a Toronto sidewalk, killing and injuring several people (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

A Toronto police official says that women make up most of the victims of the deadly van attack but it’s not yet known if they were deliberately targeted.

Toronto Police Services Det. Sgt. Graham Gibson says the 10 people killed and 14 injured were “predominantly” women. But he say he has no indication yet that suspect Alek Minassian was directing his rented van into women as he plowed into pedestrians in a north Toronto neighborhood on Monday.

The issue arose because of what police called a “cryptic” Facebook message posted by Minassian just before the incident that suggested he was part of an online community angry over their inability to form relationships with women.

Authorities have declined to disclose a possible motive in the attack.

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders says “all the lanes are open with this investigation.”

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3:55 p.m.

Jordan’s state-run Petra news agency says one of that country’s citizens was among the 10 people killed when a van ran over pedestrians on a sidewalk.

The agency reported Tuesday that the Jordanian embassy in Ottawa is in contact with the family of Munair Najjar, who was in Toronto visiting family.

The embassy is helping arrange the transfer of Najjarr’s body to Jordan. No other information about Najjar was released.

The attack in Toronto Monday also left 15 people injured.

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3:25 p.m.

A Toronto police official says the man accused of driving a rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in Toronto posted a “cryptic” Facebook message minutes before the attack.

Toronto Police Services Det. Sgt. Graham Gibson says he is prohibited from discussing a possible motive because suspect Alek Minassian has been charged in the case.

Minassian on his now-deleted Facebook account saluted 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.

He called the Carlifornia killer Elliot Rodger “the Supreme Gentleman,” The Facebook post declared: “The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys!”

The 22-year-old 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.

Monday’s Facebook post mentions that “Private (Recruit) Minassian” is speaking, and Facebook confirmed that the post was on an account that belonged to the suspect.

The social networking site took down his account after the attack.

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2:10 p.m.

A South Korean news agency says two Korean nationals were among 10 people killed when a van mounted a sidewalk and rammed into pedestrians in Toronto.

The Yonhap News Agency is citing government officials as saying that one other Korean national was seriously injured in the incident that took place Monday afternoon.

One of the people who died in the van attack has been identified as 20-year-old Anne Marie D’Amico, who worked at a U.S.-based investment firm.

Twenty-five-year-old Alek Minassian has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.

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This entry has been corrected to delete reference to three South Koreans being unaccounted for.

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1:20 p.m.

A government spokeswoman says the man accused in a van attack that left 10 people dead in Toronto was briefly a member of the Canadian Armed Forces last year.

National Defense spokeswoman Jessica Lamirande says Alek Minassian was a member of the forces from Aug. 23 until Oct. 25, 2017.

She says: “He did not complete his recruit training and requested to be voluntarily released from the CAF after 16 days of recruit training.”

The 25-year-old man from Richmond Hill, Ontario, was charged on Tuesday with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.

Minassian had attended Thornlea Secondary School in Richmond Hill, graduating in 2011, according to school officials, who declined to provide further details.

A LinkedIn page with Minassian’s name and photograph lists him as a student at Seneca College from 2011 to this year.

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12:50 p.m.

Toronto City Councilor Cesar Palacio has identified one of the victims of Monday’s van incident as Anne Marie D’Amico, whose parents live in his ward.

He says D’Amico also was a friend of his daughter, and he remembers her as “a brilliant young girl” who was very active and interested in improving society. He spoke with her parents on Tuesday.

D’Amico worked at the investment management firm Invesco. Invesco Canada President Peter Intraligi issued a statement confirming the death of an employee and saying “our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those impacted by this tragic event.”

D’Amico volunteered at a Canada-based international humanitarian charity called Live Different. She helped build houses in the northern Dominican Republic in 2015 and 2017, according to Dave Hamilton, the charity’s manager of school partnerships.

Her remembered her as “super-positive, always smiling, a funny person, always up for a challenge, and really wanted to help people out.”

D’Amico’s Facebook page says she attended Ryerson University in Toronto. The school said it could not confirm that, but President and Vice-Chancellor Mohamed Lachemi issued a statement offering “deepest sympathies to all of those affected by the terrible incident.”

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11:05 a.m.

The president of Toronto’s police union says an officer’s behavior in arresting a suspect in Monday’s deadly van attack was “one shining moment” in an otherwise horrific day.

Mike McCormack of the Toronto Police Association said Tuesday “We’re extremely proud of him,” and adds, “He may have prevented additional deaths.”

Videos circulating on social media show the officer confronting the suspect even as he points a dark object toward the officer.

The officer refuses to shoot and repeatedly yells for the man to get down.

The suspect warns he has a gun in his pocket.

And he can be heard saying: “Shoot me in the head.”

From a high-rise window, another video appears to show the suspect walking backward with his arms raised as the officer moves toward him.

The suspect eventually goes to the ground and street-level footage shows the officer kneeling over him as he lies on the pavement.

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10:25 a.m.

A judge in Canada has ordered the 25-year-old man suspected of plowing a van into pedestrians in north Toronto detained on 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 of attempted murder.

Suspect Alek Minassian learned of the charges in a brief initial hearing before a judge in Toronto on Tuesday.

Minassian wore a white jail jumpsuit and had his hands handcuffed. He showed little emotion.

He was asked to say his name and if he understood an order not to have any contact with anyone injured in Monday’s crash scene on a busy sidewalk.

He did not enter a plea to the charges and was ordered to return to court on May 10.

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9:25 a.m.

The president of Invesco Canada says one of the financial company’s employees was among those killed in when a van plowed into pedestrians in Toronto.

Peter Intraligi says the company’s “thoughts and prayers” were with “all those impacted by this tragic event.”

The company had earlier issued a statement saying two of its employees were affected.

A new statement from Intraligi says “I can now confirm that unfortunately one of our employees has succumbed to her injuries.” He added: “Out of respect for her and her family, we will not be providing any further comments.”

Police are trying to determine why a driver plowed a rented van along a crowded sidewalk in Toronto, killing 10 people and injuring 15 in what many said seemed a deliberate attack.

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8:55 a.m.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says authorities see no national security element in the seeming attack on pedestrians in Canada’s largest city.

Trudeau says the incident “hasn’t changed the overall threat level in Canada,” though it occurred as Cabinet ministers from the G7 nations are meeting in Toronto.

Trudeau says Canada will do whatever it can to keep its citizens safe, while staying true to its values.

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, he said, “We cannot as Canadians choose to live in fear every single day as we go about our daily business.”

Police are trying to determine why a driver plowed a rented van along a crowded sidewalk in Toronto, killing 10 people and injuring 15 in what many said seemed a deliberate attack.

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