Toronto attack: White rental van kills 10, injures 15 near Yonge and Finch

Toronto police leading "major investigation"

View of the scene from an office tower at 5000 Yonge St. (Courtesy Rhonda Pomerantz)

A white Ryder rental van zoomed down Yonge Street in the north of Toronto just after the lunch hour, striking multiple people near Finch Avenue.

Toronto police confirmed that 10 people are dead and 15 are injured. Police say the van jumped the curb, then kept driving down Yonge Street.

Dead bodies, blood and shoes.

—Edgar, witness, lives in the neighbourhood.

Edgar, a student attending the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson, lives in the neighbourhood. He says he saw “dead bodies, blood and shoes.”

He told the Toronto Observer the van started travelling down Yonge Street from the intersection of Yonge and Finch Avenue East, where the driver struck multiple pedestrians.

Stewart Shi, a waiter at Soban Cafe, located at 5600 Yonge St., says the van struck people in front of his restaurant. He witnessed the aftermath.

“This is a dead body …  it happened beside the restaurant,” he told Observer Radio News broadcaster Bobby Hristova, in a shaky voice. “The dead body is an Asian girl. After 20 minutes of assisting her, she died.”

He saw four to five people injured by the van.

(Map by Anjelica Balatbat, Toronto Observer)

Subhendu Basu, an accounting professional who works at the firm Miller Bernstein in the office building at 5000 Yonge St., was an eyewitness when the police apprehended the suspect, at approximately 1:30 p.m, on Poyntz Avenue close to Sheppard.

“I did not even duck. You just get stunned for a few minutes. I was just looking at this. Once in a lifetime you get to see something like you see in the movies,” said Basu, who was stuck in his car when it happened.

Basu describes the driver as a fair-skinned, bald male in his 30s. Police have not commented on whether the attack was terrorism-related.

Basu said a lone Toronto police officer drove up to the “mashed up” van in his police car.

It’s mayhem out here.

—Subhendu Basu

Basu says the driver of the van got out of his vehicle pointing what the accountant thought was a gun at the police officer, who was crouched behind his car.

“The police officer was talking to him for a few minutes before he dropped the gun,” he says, although it is not clear whether the suspect was indeed holding a gun, or just a cellphone.

“I won’t say I was terrified. I was basically frozen and numb,” Basu admitted.

Subhendu Bass watched the police officer take down the van suspect.

Toronto Mayor John Tory and police officials held a news conference at a nearby school at 4:30 p.m. where he they asked businesses in the area to close in order to accommodate the “major investigation.”

A discarded shoe at the scene of the attack at the intersections of Yonge & Finch  (Taylor Bridger / Toronto Observer)

police officer

Toronto police officers on the scene of Monday’s van attack on pedestrians April 23, 2018. (Taylor Bridger / TORONTO OBSERVER)

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Posted: Apr 23 2018 6:25 pm
Filed under: News