Van strikes pedestrians in Toronto

By Veronica Rocha and Brian Ries, CNN
10:14 p.m. ET, April 23, 2018
4:55 p.m. ET, April 23, 2018

9 people killed, 16 injured in van incident, police say

At least nine people were killed and 16 were injured today after a van plowed into pedestrians on a sidewalk in Toronto, Acting Chief Peter Yuen told reporters at a news conference.

The driver of the van was taken into custody, he said.

"I ask the city of Toronto, pray for our victims and also to assist the Toronto police service in bringing this matter to a successful conclusion," Yuen said.

4:50 p.m. ET, April 23, 2018

Toronto mayor: "The city is in safe hands"

Toronto Mayor John Tory assured residents of Toronto this afternoon that "the city is in safe hands" and he hopes "this is a time when the community should come together."

Speaking at a press conference just three hours after a man in a van reportedly mowed down pedestrians on a busy thoroughfare, Tory said the incident was "not the kind of things that we don't want to happen in a city and nowhere in the world but especially in Toronto. But things are as they are."

He added, "I hope that we will as a city remind ourselves of the fact that we are admired around the world for being inclusive and for being accepting and understanding and considerate and that we are united in standing in solidarity with those who have fallen victim to this terrible tragedy today."

4:43 p.m. ET, April 23, 2018

Van rental company spokesperson: "We are saddened by this tragic event"

From CNN’s Chuck Johnson 

Jonathan Mayor, a spokesperson for Ryder, told CNN the rental car company was aware that their van was involved in today's crash in Toronto.

He issued this statement:

"We are saddened by this tragic event, and our deepest sympathies go out to those impacted. We take the safety and security related to the use of our entire fleet very seriously and we are cooperating fully with authorities."

 

4:42 p.m. ET, April 23, 2018

Map shows distance driver traveled after first reports of a collision

The first reports of a collision involving pedestrians came at Finch Ave and Yonge St., and the driver was later arrested about 1.4 miles away (2.2 km).

3:57 p.m. ET, April 23, 2018

Toronto crash appears to be deliberate, official says

From CNN's Shimon Prokupecz

A law enforcement official briefed on the situation in Toronto told CNN the incident is believed to be deliberate.

3:57 p.m. ET, April 23, 2018

He saw the crash and assisted an injured man

From CNN’s Ellie Kaufman

An eyewitness said he rushed out of his restaurant to help treat a severely injured young man.

Bersat Noorai, manager of Taftan Kebab, said he saw a white van hit the bench in front of his restaurant. After seeing the crash, he ran outside and saw two or three people on the ground.

“I just bring for him a towel, water, whatever. I did call 911,” Noorai said.

He said the young man was bleeding and losing a lot of blood.

Shortly thereafter, police arrived and took him away in an ambulance.

3:48 p.m. ET, April 23, 2018

Video appears to show standoff between armed individual and a police officer

The following video appears to show an individual and a police officer in a standoff near the scene of the Toronto van strike. 

The individual appears to be pointing a handgun on a responding police officer, who is telling him to lay down.

Note: CNN has not yet confirmed this is the van driver police took into custody. CNN partner CTV says it obtained this video from a viewer who does not want to be named.

3:46 p.m. ET, April 23, 2018

Two cars tried to stop the van, witness says

Chelsea Luelo, who initially heard very loud honking, said it looked as if the driver of the van was intentionally plowing into pedestrians. 

“It looked like he was going straight, halfway through the sidewalk,” Luelo said.

She then saw two cars trying to stop the van. 

“It was kind of like they were trying to steer him off, but I guess he got away because clearly he made it all the way down to Shepherd."

Luelo said she also saw the driver hit a fire hydrant.

She also saw three more people hit — one in front of a nail spa, another near the Canadian post box, and yet another in front of another nearby restaurant.

The police and paramedics arrived to the scene quickly.  She said the bodies were later removed.

3:45 p.m. ET, April 23, 2018

7 people taken to Toronto hospital

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre has received seven patients from today's incident. They are unable to provide details on the severity of those injuries.

Here's the release: 

Following an incident involving a van striking a number of pedestrians in the Yonge and Finch area, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre has received seven patients from the scene in its Trauma Centre.Sunnybrook’s Emergency Department has been locked down as an added precaution and access to the Bayview Campus is being controlled.Sunnybrook has activated its Hospital Emergency Operations Centre (HEOC) and is meeting currently to ensure beds are available for the injured.