NINE People have been killed after a white van mowed down pedestrians in Toronto, Canada.
Police in Toronto say they have arrested a male suspect after a white van mounted a curb in the city’s north end, killing nine people and injuring 16 others.
Deputy Police Chief Peter Yuen told reporters Monday afternoon that police received multiple calls around 1:30 p.m. about a vehicle “driving on Yonge Street, striking a number of pedestrians between Finch Avenue and Sheppard Avenue.”
Yuen said one suspect was in custody, the van had been located and all available resources had been mobilized to investigate the situation.
Witness Ali Shaker, told CTV that the van was travelling at high speed on the pavement.
“He started going down on the sidewalk and crumbling down people one by one,” Shaker told CTV News.
Video from Yonge and Finch at Toronto pic.twitter.com/YvS8GcJ8pg
— Vince (@vce7) April 23, 2018
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.”
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 told CTV that he first noticed the commotion when he saw police taking down a male suspect.
— CLARK HUA ZHANG (@FTV_Huazhang) April 23, 2018
Zullo added that he saw “shoes and hats flown everywhere.”
Another eyewitness 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.
“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.”
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 weapon, throws out his arms and backs up to the curb.
Toronto police say they have arrested a driver after a white van struck a number of pedestrians in the Yonge Street and Finch Avenue area.
Eight to 10 people were hit, police said initially, though Toronto paramedics put the injured number at closer to five according to CBC.
A witness said separately that he had seen at least four bodies lying covered on the ground.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed condolences as he was heading into question period. He said he was just learning of the incident.
Our thoughts are with all those affected by the terrible incident at Yonge and Finch in Toronto. Thank you to the first responders working at the scene – we're monitoring the situation closely.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 23, 2018
“Our hearts go out to everyone affected,” Trudeau said.
He said he would have more to say in the coming hours.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said his office is being updated by Toronto Fire Service, Toronto Paramedic Services, the TTC and the acting city manager.
Mr Tory said “My thoughts are with those affected by this incident and the frontline responders who are working to help those injured. I have offered any and all assistance that the city can provide to police to help this investigation.”