Reports are claiming that 9 are dead and another 16 are injured after the driver of a large van plowed his vehicle into a group of pedestrians.
CNN reports that the driver was inside of a white van when, suddenly, he drove down a busy street north of downtown Toronto on Monday, plowing into a group of pedestrians. The impact left multiple people dead and many more injured in a "trail of destruction stretching up to a mile."
Currently, authorities do not know why the driver decided to plow his vehicle into pedestrians. Authorities are still searching for possible motives behind this devastating crime.
After causing his destruction, the suspected driver was arrested and taken into custody.
The suspect appeared to be middle-aged and bald. After the incident, he stood alongside his extensively damaged rental van. As the man stood by his van he began to yell, "Kill me!" as the police commanded him to get down.
"I have a gun in my pocket," yelled the man.
The police responded, "I don't care! Get down!"
The police then commanded him once again to get down or else he would get shot.
"Shoot me in the head," yelled the man in response.
A total of seven patients were taken from the scene and booked into Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. The hospital was unable to provide details on the condition of the people taken into their care. We do know, however, that there were multiple casualties. And we also know that many of those injured are suffering from very severe injuries. The death toll, already at 9, may rise in coming hours.
Those who witnessed the scene have claimed that they too believe it was intentional.
“He started going down on the sidewalk and crumbling down people one by one,” said a witness, according to the Daily Star. “He just destroyed so many people’s lives,” he continued. “Every single thing that got in his way.”
"It looked like he was going straight, halfway through the sidewalk," said another witness.
When the vehicle began driving down the sidewalk and plowing into pedestrians, it was apparently going very quickly. One person remarked, according to CNN, that the van was driving at 70 kph. That is approximately 43 mph.
"He's just hitting people one by one, going down," the witness said. "It's a nightmare."
Those interviewed claim to have seen dead and unconscious people lying on the side of the road. They also saw what they knew to be debris from a car. The driver, who apparently drove on the sidewalk for multiple blocks, left people dead in several locations and on several streets.
One person claims that when they were walking, they were horrified to find a person lying face down on the street. They appeared to be dead. They continued walking to find another person dead. In both scenes, crowds of people surrounded the people.
The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, remarked on Monday afternoon that he is being briefed about the incident. He has expressed deep sadness about the incident and claims that his heart goes out to everybody impacted by this tragedy.
"Our hearts go out to anyone affected. We're obviously going to have more to learn and more to say in the coming hours," he said.
Several people took videos in the aftermath of the incident. One video, probably taken on somebody's cell phone, reveals crowds of people surrounding a person who had been hit.
The New York Times reports that images on social media show bodies lying on the ground, some of them covered with blankets. Photos also show debris lying on the ground, including a child's stroller.
One driver who witnessed the destructions claims that the van was mowing down everything in its path, including pedestrians, mailboxes, electrical poles, benches, and fire hydrants.
“One by one, one by one,” he said. “Holy God, I’ve never seen such a sight before. I feel sick.”
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