Minassian, 25, charged with 10 counts of first degree murder
Alek Minassian, 25, has been charged with 10 counts of first degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder in connection with Tuesday’s fatal attack where a driver plowed a rental van into pedestrians in Toronto.
Ten victims died and 15 were injured when they were struck as they walked on the Yonge Street sidewalk between Finch and Sheppard.
One of the victims has been identified as Annie Marie D’Amacio. According to CBC News she worked for US management firm Inesco and her next of kin have been notified.
Minassian’s Linked In profile it says he attended Seneca College from 2011 until 2018. Seneca has confirmed some of their students were victims and one of them died.
I just go this email from the seneca president. ppl in my school were injured/killed during the incident at yonge and finch. My prayers go out to all the victims and their families/friends. #toronto pic.twitter.com/cmN2pi0SQj
— rayhana (@rayy0889) April 24, 2018
Authorities are still investigating the motive behind the attack, however, there are many theories.
Facebook has confirmed the validity of a post from Minassian’s account referencing a “Incel Rebellion”.
The post reads “The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!”
Incel refers to a now banned Reddit group where users (mostly men) blamed women and modern feminism for their involuntary lack of sexual intercourse. After much criticism for the group’s misogyny and condoning of rape, the group was banned.
“Chads and Stacys” is a pejorative term originally used by those on 4 Chan’s /r/9k/ board.
As first reported by the Globe and Mail, the number 00010 references the designation used by the Canadian Forces for members of infantry. The number beginning with C is similar to the format of a service number.
However, the military only confirmed Minassian was in basic training from August to October 2017 and volunteered to be released before training was complete.
In a different Globe and Mail report, classmates of Minassain described him an expert level whiz with computer chips and none thought of him as capable of carrying out such an attack due to his difficulties socializing and involuntary physical tics. One of them, who spoke to the Globe on the condition of anonymity, did not think he’d be capable of driving a car.
The official terrorism threat levels remain at this point.
Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale spoke out at a G7 summit in Quebec in response to the attack.
He said “We cannot come to any firm conclusions at this stage… There is complete cooperation and collaboration among all of the relevant police organizations.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory said at City Hall, “We will not be broken,” and that last night has left the metropolis this morning in mourning of “…unfathomable loss.”
Tory commended the efforts of first responders and added “we know that we are strong and resilient and will not be thrown off course by one person or one act”
“…it’s not a moment that you ever believe can happen in the city we all call home.”
On Parliament Hill, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his condolences to the victims.
“The events that took place yesterday in Toronto were a senseless attack and a horrific tragedy. On behalf of all Canadians we offer our deepest heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of those who were killed.”
The prime minister expressed admiration for first responders due to their promptness and professionalism during the terrifying incident.
Trudeau wanted to assure that all protections and precautions will be made to ensure national security.
He did not describe the event as a terrorist attack.
“We need to do everything we can to keep Canadians safe,” said Trudeau.
He said that the motivation of the attack is not clear, but there is no reason as of yet to suspect connection to national security.
Premiere Kathleen Wynne offered her condolences along side the mayor mere hours later at the scene of the tragedy.
Wynne said the attack “…is not emblematic of who we are as a city or as a province.”