According to CTV News, police have arrested a suspect after a white van mounted a curb and struck numerous pedestrians in Toronto. At least one person has died, according to a local hospital representative.
The incident happened on Yonge Street south of Finch Avenue around 1:30 p.m. Monday, according to the Toronto Police Service.
A suspect was arrested beside the van on Poyntz Avenue off of Yonge, just south of Sheppard Avenue West. The van, which has extensive damage to its front end, is marked as belonging to the rental company Ryder.
Sunnybrook Hospital issued a statement saying that its trauma center had received seven patients after “an incident involving a van striking a number of pedestrians.”
A representative of the hospital later told CP24 that they were aware of eight patients, including one who died and several who were in critical condition.
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Asked whether this was a terrorist act, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne told reporters in Toronto: “We have no information on that at this point.”
Witness Ali Shaker, who was driving southbound at the time, says the van was traveling at high speed on the sidewalk. The van was also southbound.
“He started going down on the sidewalk and crumbling down people one by one,” Shaker told CTV News Channel on Monday afternoon.
Shaker said he saw the vehicle strike someone with a stroller.
“He just destroyed so many people’s lives,” he said. “Every single thing that got in his way.”
‘So many bodies’
Carol Roberts, who witnessed the aftermath, said she saw “a lot of people lying lifeless on the ground.”
“It was just so many bodies,” she told CTV News Channel.
Witness Phil Zullo, who was driving northbound, says he first noticed the commotion when he saw police taking down a male suspect.
Zullo says he continued north, where he saw “shoes and hats flown everywhere.”
A witness named Kash told local news station CP24 that he was having lunch at a Jack Astors restaurant when he came out and saw four bodies on the ground in front of Mel Lastman Square.
“People were trying to revive them obviously to no avail,” he said.
“It seems very clearly that the van had hopped the curb and kind of driven on the sidewalk going southbound and hit plenty of people.”
Kash said that it was “very traumatic.”
“Our thoughts and prayers go to people that do have family that have been hit,” he said.
“There was a guy here who said he followed the van down honking his horn trying to warn people as much as he could.”
Witnesses describe a horrific and deliberate event:
“Witnesses said the van climbed onto the sidewalk and struck pedestrians and kept driving. Another witness said that the van did not appear to be out of control as it struck people.” #Toronto https://t.co/LrP7PYfyKD
— Nick Short (@PoliticalShort) April 23, 2018
Object pointed at police
Video shared with CTV News shows the suspect pointing a small, dark object at police, with his back to the van. Police can be seen taking cover behind their vehicle and shouting at him to get down.
“Get down!” the officer is heard shouting.
“I have a gun in my pocket,” the suspect can be heard saying.
“Get down or you’ll be shot!” the officer says.
The camera turns away from the confrontation for approximately eight seconds, then looks back to show the suspect on the ground, face-down, with the officer cuffing him.
Another video recorded from a nearby building shows the moment missed in the previous video. The suspect can be seen walking out in the street with the object in his hand still pointed at the officer. After approximately five seconds he drops the object, throws out his arms and backs up to the curb.
Here’s another angle of the arrest, showing the driver of the van allegedly throwing his gun before he was arrested.
It is also being reported that the object that was being held by the driver of the van was, in fact, a cell phone. The theory is, that the driver wanted to be killed by police.
Witness tells @CP24 suspect driver pulled his cell phone on police. Witness of arrest said it looked like a gun but it was not #toronto
— Graham Richardson (@grahamctv) April 23, 2018
Former NYC Police commissioner Bill Bratton states on @MSNBC his sources in Canada say van driver in #Toronto was known to Police and now consider incident a terrorist attack. Motivation and affiliation unknown.
— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) April 23, 2018
Independent journalist Laura Loomer claims witnesses describe the driver as “Middle Eastern”
UPDATE: Toronto Mayor is now saying 9 people are dead and 16 are injured.
Authorities are calling it a terror attack.
Witnesses are describing the terrorist as “Middle Eastern”
Journalists and authorities are saying the motive is “unknown”
9 dead in Toronto, authorities confirm it was a terrorist attack.
Terrorist described as "Middle Eastern".
"Motive unknown." 🤔
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) April 23, 2018
According to this Twitter user, CTV shows the suspected van driver being arrested in front of a building with an Islamic banner posted in the window. Was this place of surrender planned?
CTV reports this is the Van in front of building with Islamic Banner #Toronto pic.twitter.com/GAWgVO6sbB
— Schtev🇨🇦 (@schtev69) April 23, 2018
The aerialvideo below seems to support his claim:
Aerial footage of the moment the #torontoattack suspect was apprehended. He appears to be pointing a firearm, and is then arrested. No shots fired by Toronto police #Toronto pic.twitter.com/i6a8nANiGR
— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) April 23, 2018
Adrienne Anneau asked people not to use this horrific attack to promote their “racist agenda.” Anneau claims that #Toronto is proud to be a multicultural, tolerant, welcoming city. Wondering how many of Anneau’s loved ones were run over by the van?
NEW: Hit-and-run that injured several pedestrians in Toronto appears to be a deliberate act, U.S. law enforcement sources tell @CBSNews. https://t.co/hXPDsOUZfl
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 23, 2018