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Toronto police say 10 dead, 15 injured by van

| Monday, April 23, 2018, 2:25 p.m.
Farzad Salehi consoles his wife, Mehrsa Marjani, who was at a nearby cafe and witnessed the aftermath when a van plowed down a crowded sidewalk, killing multiple people and injuring others, Monday, April 23, 2018, in Toronto.
The Canadian Press
Farzad Salehi consoles his wife, Mehrsa Marjani, who was at a nearby cafe and witnessed the aftermath when a van plowed down a crowded sidewalk, killing multiple people and injuring others, Monday, April 23, 2018, in Toronto.
An unidentified body is seen near the crime scene after a truck hit several pedestrians in Toronto, Ontario, on on April 23, 2018. 
A man drove a white rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in the center of Canada's biggest city Toronto on April 23, 2018, injuring as many as 10 people, police said.Canadian media reported at least four fatalities, but that was not yet confirmed by police.
AFP/Getty Images
An unidentified body is seen near the crime scene after a truck hit several pedestrians in Toronto, Ontario, on on April 23, 2018. A man drove a white rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in the center of Canada's biggest city Toronto on April 23, 2018, injuring as many as 10 people, police said.Canadian media reported at least four fatalities, but that was not yet confirmed by police.
Police officers stand by a body covered on the sidewalk in Toronto after a van mounted a sidewalk crashing into a crowd  of pedestrians on Monday, April 23, 2018. The van apparently jumped a curb Monday in a busy intersection in Toronto and struck the pedestrians and fled the scene before it was found and the driver was taken into custody, Canadian police said.
The Canadian Press
Police officers stand by a body covered on the sidewalk in Toronto after a van mounted a sidewalk crashing into a crowd of pedestrians on Monday, April 23, 2018. The van apparently jumped a curb Monday in a busy intersection in Toronto and struck the pedestrians and fled the scene before it was found and the driver was taken into custody, Canadian police said.
Police inspect a van suspected of being involved in a collision injuring at least eight people at Yonge Street and Finch Avenue on April 23, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. A suspect is in custody after a white van collided with multiple pedestrians.
Getty Images
Police inspect a van suspected of being involved in a collision injuring at least eight people at Yonge Street and Finch Avenue on April 23, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. A suspect is in custody after a white van collided with multiple pedestrians.
Police officers stand near several ambulances after a truck hit several pedestrians in Toronto, Ontario, on on April 23, 2018. 
A man drove a white rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in the center of Canada's biggest city Toronto on April 23, 2018, injuring as many as 10 people, police said.
AFP/Getty Images
Police officers stand near several ambulances after a truck hit several pedestrians in Toronto, Ontario, on on April 23, 2018. A man drove a white rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in the center of Canada's biggest city Toronto on April 23, 2018, injuring as many as 10 people, police said.
Police officers stand near the crime scene after a truck hit several pedestrians in Toronto, Ontario, on on April 23, 2018. 
A man drove a white rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in the center of Canada's biggest city Toronto on April 23, 2018, injuring as many as 10 people, police said.
AFP/Getty Images
Police officers stand near the crime scene after a truck hit several pedestrians in Toronto, Ontario, on on April 23, 2018. A man drove a white rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in the center of Canada's biggest city Toronto on April 23, 2018, injuring as many as 10 people, police said.
A man stands by a dislodged fire hydrant on Yonge St. at near Finch Ave., after a van plowed into pedestrians on April 23, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. A suspect identified as Alek Minassian, 25, is in custody after a driver in a white rental van collided with multiple pedestrians killing nine and injuring at least 16.
Getty Images
A man stands by a dislodged fire hydrant on Yonge St. at near Finch Ave., after a van plowed into pedestrians on April 23, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. A suspect identified as Alek Minassian, 25, is in custody after a driver in a white rental van collided with multiple pedestrians killing nine and injuring at least 16.

TORONTO — A rented van plowed down a crowded Toronto sidewalk Monday, killing 10 people and injuring 15 before the driver fled and was quickly arrested in a confrontation with police, Canadian authorities said.

Witnesses said the driver was moving fast and appeared to be acting deliberately, but police officials would not comment on the cause or any possible motive.

Speaking at a news conference Monday night, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders raised the initial death toll of nine to 10, saying another victim had died at a hospital. He said 15 others were hospitalized.

Saunders identified the man detained after the incident as Alek Minassian, 25, a resident of the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill.

Authorities released few details in the case, saying the investigation was still underway, with witnesses being interviewed and surveillance video being examined.

"I can assure the public all our available resources have been brought in to investigate this tragic situation," Toronto Police Services Deputy Chief Peter Yuen said earlier.

The incident occurred as Cabinet ministers from the major industrial countries were gathered in Canada to discuss a range of international issues in the run-up to the G7 meeting near Quebec City in June.

Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale said that it was too soon to say whether the crash was a case of international terrorism and that the government had not raised its terrorism alert.

A senior national government official later said that authorities had not turned over the investigation to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a sign that investigators believed it unlikely terrorism was the motive. The official agreed to reveal that information only if not quoted by name.

The driver was heading south on busy Yonge Street around 1:30 p.m. and the streets were crowded with people enjoying an unseasonably warm day when the van jumped onto the sidewalk.

Ali Shaker, who was driving near the van at the time, told Canadian broadcast outlet CP24 that the driver appeared to be moving deliberately through the crowd at more than 30 mph.

"He just went on the sidewalk," a distraught Shaker said. "He just started hitting everybody, man. He hit every single person on the sidewalk. Anybody in his way he would hit."

Witness Peter Kang told CTV News that the driver did not seem to make any effort to stop.

"If it was an accident he would have stopped," Kang said. "But the person just went through the sidewalk. He could have stopped."

Video broadcast on several Canadian outlets showed police arresting the driver, dressed in dark clothes, after officers surrounded him and his rental Ryder van several blocks from where the incident occurred in the North York neighborhood of northern Toronto. He appeared to make some sort of gesture at the police with an object in his hand just before they ordered him to lie down on the ground and took him away.

Witness Phil Zullo told Canadian Press that he saw police arresting the suspect and people "strewn all over the road" where the incident occurred.

"I must have seen about five, six people being resuscitated by bystanders and by ambulance drivers," Zullo said. "It was awful. Brutal."

Police shut down the Yonge and Finch intersection following the incident and Toronto's transit agency said it had suspended service on the subway line running through the area.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his sympathies for those involved. "Our hearts go out to everyone affected," Trudeau said in Ottawa. "We are going to have more to learn and more to say in the coming hours."

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