Vehicle Homicide Tragedy In Toronto, Ontario


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TORONTO, ON – APRIL 23: Police inspect a van suspected of being involved in a collision injuring at least eight people at Yonge St. and Finch Ave. on April 23, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. A suspect is in custody after a white van collided with multiple pedestrians. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

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On April 23rd, the deadliest vehicle homicide occurred in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The attack began when Alek Minassian drove a rented van into pedestrian filled sidewalks, killing ten and injuring sixteen, some still in critical condition. The rampage continued for longer than a mile down a bustling intersection. When intercepted by Ken Lam, a police officer, Minassian held a dark pistol-shaped object toward the officer, trying to provoke the officer into shooting him. Minassian made a Facebook post shortly before committing the murders, praising Elliot Rodger, who was the murderer behind the 2014 Isla Vista killings in California. Both Rodger and Minassian referred to themselves as “incels” or “involuntary celibates,” which has a following from misogynistic fringes on the internet. “Incels” are men who believe that they are not sexually successful because it is a woman’s fault for not being attracted to them, and tend to blame women as catalysts for their own violent attacks. On April 24th, Minassian was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder, and 13 counts of attempted murder. Police later announced that three additional charges of attempted murder would be laid at his next court appearance on May 10.

On April 27, 2018, police released the names of the eight women and two men killed in the attack: Beutis Renuka Amarasinghe, 45, nutritionist, Andrea Bradden, 33, account executive, Geraldine Brady, 83, Avon saleswoman, So He Chung, 22, university student, Anne Marie D’Amico, 30, financial analyst, Mary Elizabeth Forsyth, 94, retiree, Chul Min “Eddie” Kang, 45, chef, Ji Hun Kim, 22, college student from South Korea, Munir Najjar, 85, retiree visiting family, Dorothy Sewell, 80, retiree. Minassian was also charged with attempted murders of Robert Anderson, Amir Kiumarsi, Aleksandra Kozhevinikova, Mavis Justino, Morgan McDougall, Jun Seok Park, Samantha Peart, So Ra, Catherine Riddell, Sammantha Samson, Beverly Smith, Amaresh Tesfamariam and Yunsheng Tian. Two men who left the scene after being hit were later identified by police from dashcam footage and charges of their attempted murders are anticipated, as is a sixteenth.

Paramedics reflect on how the event unfolded.

“We just kept hearing about multiple patients struck and multiple patients critically injured and I wasn’t sure if this was something that was ongoing or what was happening,” Toronto paramedic Christopher Rotolo recalled in an interview with Global News. He and his partner quickly worked to clear themselves from the hospital and notified dispatch. They were quickly assigned to respond. “You see the news and you see this stuff happening all over the world, but I never thought I’d be in the driver’s seat of an ambulance responding to a call like this,” Rotolo said.

The horrible incident leaves Canada with many unique and wonderful lives lost, and the question of what we can do to prevent the terrible and senseless violence that seems to never end.



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