Toronto Pedestrians Struck

Aaron Vincent Elkaim/The Canadian Press via AP

10 Dead, 15 Injured When Van Strikes Pedestrians In Toronto

April 23, 2018 - 2:24 pm

TORONTO (WCBS 880/CBS News/AP) -- Ten people were killed and 15 more were injured when van a struck multiple people in Toronto Monday afternoon, police said.

The driver was taken into custody.

Toronto Police Service Acting Chief Peter Yuen said around 1:30 p.m., police received a number of calls indicating a vehicle barreling down Yonge Street between Finch and Sheppard avenues in the north-central part of the city.

Yuen said in the afternoon that nine people had been killed and 16 injured, but Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said Monday evening that a tenth person had died.

Police quickly located the vehicle and took the driver into custody, and the incident is being investigated, Yuen said.

Police Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu said authorities do not yet know the cause or reason for the collision, but U.S. law enforcement sources told CBS News that the incident appears to be a deliberate act.

Police identified the suspect as Alex Minassian, 25.

“Our hearts and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those people,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory.

Yuen said police were still interviewing witnesses and examining surveillance video of the incident as part of what he called a "complex" investigation.

"I can assure the public all our available resources have been brought in to investigate this tragic situation," he said.

CTV News reported that at least four of the hospitalized victims were in critical condition.

Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale said that it was too soon to say whether the crash was a case of international terrorism and that the government had not raised its terrorism alert.

A witness, Phil Zullo, told Canadian Press that he saw police arresting a man who had been driving a Ryder rental truck and saw people "strewn all over the road" where the incident occurred.

"It must have seen about five, six people being resuscitated by bystanders and by ambulance drivers," Zullo said. "It was awful. Brutal."

Ali Shaker, who was driving near the van at the time, told Canadian broadcast outlet CP24 that the driver appeared to be moving deliberately through the crowd at more than 30 mph.

"He just went on the sidewalk," a distraught Shaker said. "He just started hitting everybody, man. He hit every single person on the sidewalk. Anybody in his way he would hit."

Police shut down the intersection of Yonge Street and Finch Avenue following the incident, and the Toronto Transit Commission said it has suspended service on the subway line running through the area.

The incident occurred as Cabinet ministers from the major industrial countries were gathered in Canada to discuss a range of international issues in the run-up to the G7 meeting near Quebec City in June.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter that he was monitoring the situation.

"Our thoughts are with all those affected by the terrible incident at Yonge and Finch in Toronto," Trudeau said. "Thank you to the first responders working at the scene - we're monitoring the situation closely."

The NYPD said Monday afternoon that it was monitoring the developments in Toronto. The Toronto incident did not involve any known nexus to New York City, the NYPD said.

(Copyright 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)