Update: The suspect has been identified as 25-year-old Alek Minassian. His motives for conducting the attack, if any, are unclear at this time.
Earlier: Toronto police have confirmed that 9 people are dead and 16 injured after a driver in a white rental van crashed into pedestrians in the Yonge Street and Finch Avenue area of North York in Toronto at 1:27 PM EST this afternoon.
According to several reports, the driver mounted onto the curb and hit several pedestrians before attempting to flee the scene.
Reports also state that a law enforcement official who was briefed on the incident believes that it was a deliberate attack.
Toronto Police now has him in custody, and are now appealing to the public for more information. Officers are expected to remain on site for several days as they investigate the incident.
Investigators are appealing for information from the public. A hotline for witnesses to the incident will be announced later today. A separate hotline for family members will also be made available. ^js
— Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) April 23, 2018
“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the terrible incident at Yonge and Finch in Toronto,” reads a tweet from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Thank you to the first responders working at the scene – we’re monitoring the situation closely.”
Our thoughts are with all those affected by the terrible incident at Yonge and Finch in Toronto. Thank you to the first responders working at the scene – we're monitoring the situation closely.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 23, 2018
Witnesses took to social media to share stories and images of the horrific incident:
— CLARK HUA ZHANG (@FTV_Huazhang) April 23, 2018
— 580 CFRA (@CFRAOttawa) April 23, 2018
9 Dead In #Toronto Van Attack – CFRB Radio Network, Citing Sources
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) April 23, 2018
— Taking Action 4 US (@takingaction4us) April 23, 2018