Photo Illustration by Thecla Li/THE CHIMES
A white van drove into the sidewalk in Toronto, Canada, killing 10 people and injuring 15 on Monday. Toronto authorities believe it was a deliberate act of violence and not a national security issue, but have yet to determine the motive, according to WTOL.
Authorities have charged the suspect, 25-year-old Alek Minassian, with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder. He was arrested in the same white rental van that plowed through the sidewalk of Toronto’s busy Yonge Street for approximately half a mile. NPR reported that police first started receiving calls with reports of a van colliding into pedestrians at 1:30 p.m. Minassian was arrested less than half an hour later.
WHO IS ALEK MINASSIAN?
Though there have been many rumors circulating online about Minassian’s background, not many facts about him have been confirmed. CBC reported that Minassian attended Seneca College, as evidenced by his LinkedIn profile.
CANADIAN BIOLANS RESPOND
As people mourn deaths of those lost and pray for the health of those injured, Canadians at Biola University responded to the news of the incident.
Sophomore English major Judy Lee expressed her remorse for the lives lost. She admitted while violence in metropolitan cities around the world are regular incidents, she did not expect this to happen in Toronto. Rather, Lee believes such an incident would occur in cities like Los Angeles instead.
“I think [violent incidents are] possible to happen at any city at this point,” Lee said. “It is scary but it’s not too surprising.”
Sophomore political science major Seth Gladysz emphasized the widespread issue of increasing criminal activities in big cities.
“It’s never good to see that people aren’t safe walking the streets of a place they call home,” Gladysz said. “With the actions looking deliberate, I do worry about the intention behind the accident, if there is any, and if this will continue on in any way, shape or form.”
Freshman business administration major Zach Summach feels angered by the criminal intent and chaos caused by the attack among what he calls the “political divide and economic instability” of his home country. Yet despite the negativity of the situation, he also desires for a more united Canada to emerge as a result of this.
“My hope though is that in this tragedy, we are brought together instead of driven further apart,” Summach said.