At about 1:30 p.m. Monday, when that rented white van suddenly accelerated, mounted the curb and began careening down the wide sidewalks on Yonge St., between Finch and Sheppard Aves., a cross-section of the city was out enjoying the rare sunshine.
The 25-year-old man suspected of running down multiple pedestrians in Toronto is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday morning.
The suspect and a police officer faced off, their guns drawn. Not a single gun shot was sacked in the exchange, earning the officer plaudits for his restraint.
In the video, the officer shouts: "Get down!".
"I kept on following him and I kept honking my horn non-stop and trying to make a commotion so pedestrians would know that something was going on", he said.
Lam spoke loudly and calmly, even as the suspect encouraged the officer to shoot him. Minassian, who was not carrying a weapon, was taken into custody after a showdown in which he brandished an object and told officers, "Shoot me in the head".
Within seconds, the suspect had raised both hands.
Minassian is accused of plowing a rental van into victims along busy Toronto street. But a U.S. law enforcement official with knowledge of the case said Minassian was known to authorities.
Chief Saunders replied: "The officer [on Monday] did a fantastic job with respect to utilizing his ability of understanding the circumstance and environment and having a peaceful resolution at the end of the day".
McCormack has been in touch with the officer, who he said is overwhelmed with emotion, but eager to get back on the streets.
However, the university professor, who is now teaching in Australia, says if the constable had waited for backup, the situation might have escalated and had a different outcome. "This guy is a hero".
One of those who came to lay a flower, Dave Spence, said residents would "walk a little differently" when they came through the area "for years to come". "What I did was no big deal". Police have not explicitly said whether the person in the cellphone video was Minassian. He later managed to arrest the man without further incident.
"Part of the approved motion also requires the TPS to conduct a review of other use-of-force options and gather input from the public and affected groups".
A former Sergeant of Auxiliary Police in Hong Kong, David says he's proud of his son but stops short of calling him a hero, praising instead the professional training provided by the Toronto Police Service.
"He showed tremendous restraint".
"Yes, the city is safe", he said, adding, however, that investigators would be at work for a long time.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders also has released the name of the purported driver detained after Monday's incident.
Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale said that it was too soon to say whether the crash was a case of worldwide terrorism and that the government had not raised its terrorism alert. In October, eight people died in NY when a man driving a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists on a bike path.
Subhendu Basu, 49, an accountant, was driving in the area when he witnessed the arrest.
"There's an impressive moment when he takes his firearm, puts it in his holster, he goes over with his baton, and he handcuffs the individual", he said. "This person was intentionally doing this, he was killing everybody", the man said. "Right now I'm in a kind of trance".
Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who was already in Toronto for a meeting of G7 security ministers, told reporters that after consulting with security and police agencies, he also believed that the attack wasn't a terrorist incident.
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