Torontonians Reflect on Van Attack a Day After Tragedy

Toronto van suspect shouted 'shoot me in the head' at police officer who is hailed a hero for not opening fire

The accolade apparently refers to the California killer who carried out a "day of retribution" in 2014.

However, neither Facebook officials nor police have confirmed that Minassian wrote the post that appeared on his account. Police Chief Saunders said, "The officer [on Monday] did a fantastic job with respect to utilizing his ability of understanding the circumstance and environment and having a peaceful resolution at the end of the day".

Minassian is accused of plowing a rental van into victims along busy Toronto street. But a police spokesman declined to discuss it further, saying only: "Everything is on the table".

A deeper look into Minassian's past reveals an impressionable and socially awkward young man who dropped out of military training and was "terrified" of women, a former classmate says.

Alek Minassian, 25, of Richmond Hill, Ont., was apprehended by police without incident not long after the attack.

At about 1:30 p.m. Monday, when that rented white van suddenly accelerated, mounted the curb and began careening down the wide sidewalks on Yonge St., between Finch and Sheppard Aves., a cross-section of the city was out enjoying the rare sunshine. A 14th count of attempted murder was pending after the toll of injured was revised down.

A shaven-headed Minassian appeared in court early Tuesday to hear the charges against him - 10 counts of premeditated murder and 13 of attempted murder. "It's a very safe area", she said.

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. He completed 16 days of "recruit" training - 00010 is a Canadian Forces code for the infantry, C23249161 could be a service number - before he made a decision to quit the army.

He said his grandmother nearly had as much love for the Blue Jays baseball team and the Maple Leafs hockey team "as she did for her family". People were out on their lunch break, doing their banking, shopping - strangers who would soon be united in the most horrific terror attack this city has ever seen.

Toronto van suspect shouted 'shoot me in the head' at police officer who is hailed a hero for not opening fire

The incident "hasn't changed the overall threat level in Canada", he told a news conference, though it occurred as Cabinet ministers from the G7 nations were meeting in Toronto.

After his rampage, Rodger died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The suspect was arrested several blocks from the scene of the attack, after a tense standoff with a police officer, during which he pointed an object at the officer and claimed to have a gun.

The stretch of Yonge Street where the victims were struck remains closed to traffic and was expected to stay blocked off for several days as police continue what is likely to be a lengthy investigation.

The man yells and extends one arm, pointing an object at an officer standing behind a black vehicle.

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

Officers will also have to get statements from victims and witnesses as well as sift through reams of photo and video collected from the scene and surveillance footage from nearby businesses. Rodger left behind a video manifesto dubbing himself a "supreme gentleman" and announcing that his crime would serve as punishment for women who rejected him and the men whom those women preferred.

Fifteen people remained in hospitals throughout the city, Saunders said, adding that local, provincial and federal investigators were probing the case.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story.


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