As many as nine people are dead and 16 were hurt after a driver used a rented van to barrel down pedestrians on a busy street in Toronto, police said.
The Toronto Star reported that the unnamed driver ran people over along Yonge St. between Finch and Sheppard Aves Monday afternoon. According to CTV News, Deputy Police Chief Peter Yuen told reporters that they have a suspect in custody.
“There were a lot of pedestrians out enjoying, a lot of witnesses out enjoying the sunny afternoon,” Yuen said.
Video captured from the scene apparently shows a man telling officers that he has a gun as they tell him to get on the ground. The suspect can also be heard telling officers to kill him.
John Flengas, the acting E.M.S. supervisor of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, which received at least 10 victims, described Monday’s scene to CTV News as “pure carnage.” The station wrote that a white van with damage to its front end and tarps covering bodies were spotted at the scene.
Witness Ali Shaker told The New York Times that the driver mowed down everything in sight: mailboxes, fire hydrants, and electrical poles, and even pedestrians. Bystanders also recalled how glass from the van’s windows as flying everywhere.
Shaker also told CTV that he saw the van strike someone pushing a stroller.
It is anticipated that investigators will be on scene for several days. There will be road closures. Beecroft Road and Doris Avenue are alternative routes. Currently North York Centre Subway Station is closed. ^js
— Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) April 23, 2018
A spokeswoman for Toronto police told The Times that police received reports about the chaotic scene at around 1:30 p.m. She said the suspect was taken into custody about 90 minutes later.
Witness Dan Fox told The Times that the van, rented from Ryder, stopped about a half-mile away from the crash. Witness accounts indicated that the vehicle was traveling between 40 to 60 mph as it ran over unsuspecting pedestrians.
In addition to Sunnybrook Hospital, North York General Hospital has also received victims from Monday’s crash.
A motive isn’t immediately known.
This is a developing story. Be sure to check back with CrimeOnline for updates as they become available.
[Featured Image: YouTube video screengrab]