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Toronto's Gruesome Van Massacre: Why Did He Do It?

04-23-2018
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Police in Toronto are trying to determine why a man drove his van down a sidewalk Monday, plowing down pedestrians in the busy area of the city, killing at least 10 people and injuring 15 more.
 
The driver, 25-year-old Alek Minassian was, according to his LinkedIn profile, a student at Seneca College in Toronto's North York area and lived in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
 
Police say he used a rented van as a murder weapon on a Toronto sidewalk crowded with people strolling during their lunchtime Monday, in what appeared to witnesses and police as a deliberate attack that lasted 26 minutes.
 
It began just before 1:30 p.m. in one of Toronto's busiest areas. Minassian's van jumped a curb and he began striking anyone he could find.
 
His van traveled 16 blocks, mowing down pedestrians for nearly a mile and a half.
 
One witness said, "It was a gruesome scene, really bad out there. I couldn't believe what I saw. Oh God, oh man.  Everybody, all these people on the streets getting hit one by one...the post office getting crumbled up on people and one person got dragged on. Their blood is all over."
 
Another witness said, "Everyone started running and screaming, he hit one lady and she went flying. You could hear them dropping."
 
Those who saw it unfold witnessed a horrifying scene, with victims and their belongings left bloodied and scattered.
 
One witness began crying as he told a reporter, "There was one lady that was in total distress and we saw the (rescue) team go to work on her, pumping away, and they lost her."
 
Minassian was quickly arrested after a brief confrontation with officers a few blocks away.
 
ISIS has called on its followers to use vehicles to attack non-believers in western nations, and vehicle attacks have occurred across Europe and even in the US. But officials so far do not think THIS was terrorism.
 
Canada's Federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale said, "On the basis of them, all available information at the present time, there would appear to be no national security connection to this particular incident."
 
Classmates of Minassian who spoke with Canada's Globe and Mail described the suspect as "socially awkward."
 
The paper reports Minassian was not known for having "any religious or political affiliations or strong views on anything, nor a penchant for violence."
 
One classmate from Seneca College who knew Minassian described him as "someone with a significant social or mental disability who had a hard time speaking to people, difficulty under pressure, and constant physical tics where he shook his hands and tapped his head."
 
Classmates told the paper they found it hard to believe Minassian could learn to drive "let alone carry out an attack."
 
Meanwhile, the British paper The Sun reports that Minassian idolized a killer named Elliot Rodger who killed six people in a rampage in California in 2014 because he had been rejected by women.
 
And a senior Canadian official said the fact authorities had not turned the investigation over to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is a big indication that this was not terrorism, but could have been simply the act of someone who wanted to kill.

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