24 April 2018Hot off the Press
Image credit: Steve Russell (Toronto Star)
Ten people have been killed and 16 others injured after a van ploughed through pedestrians in the Canadian city of Toronto on Monday.
At around 1.30pm, local witnesses said they saw a white van travel at 60-70kmph deliberately swerving through busy streets and hitting pedestrians.
The suspect wreaked havoc within the city as he drove the rental van for three kilometres down Yonge street, where witnesses say they saw “flying bodies” and people screaming for help.
One witness, Vasiola Bibolli, who was pushed out of the way of the oncoming van by a friend, said, “He accelerated and he hit one pedestrian … and then he accelerated really hard, and he hit this very old lady and her body flopped onto [the] hood of the car. It hit the ground. Her head immediately started bleeding, and then he also ran over her and continued piling through the rest of the pedestrian sidewalk.”
The suspected attacker was apprehended and taken into custody after a standoff with a police officer.
The tense confrontation was captured on video, where the suspect can be seen standing in front of the damaged van, aiming a dark object toward the officer and telling him to “shoot me in the head”.
The suspect then lays face down on the street and is handcuffed by the policeman.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement via Twitter saying:
Our thoughts are with all those affected by the terrible incident at Yonge and Finch in Toronto. Thank you to the first responders working at the scene – we're monitoring the situation closely.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 23, 2018
The area will likely remain on lockdown until authorities piece together evidence over the coming days.
It is still unclear what the suspect’s motive was.