At least nine people in Toronto are dead after a rental van rammed into pedestrians Monday afternoon in what witnesses said was not an accident.
The driver is in custody after getting out of the vehicle and appearing to threaten police with an object in his hands.
Police and witnesses said the white van hopped onto a bustling sidewalk in the city's North York district around 1:30 p.m. and mowed people down for nearly a mile.
Acting Toronto Police Chief Peter Yuen would not say in a press conference if the deadly drive was believed to be deliberate or a terror attack.
“Pray for our victims,” he told reporters, adding that he expected the investigation to be “long” and “complex.”
But witnesses said there was no way the crash was an accident.
“I was in my car and I saw a white van going on the sidewalk,” witness Ham Yu-Jin told the Toronto Star.
“I heard a big bang and the van hit a bus shelter and hit people...This is not a car accident.”
Another witness, Ali Shaker, told CTV the driver “started going down on the sidewalk and crumbling down people one by one” at about 35 to 40 miles per hour.
“He just destroyed so many people’s lives,” he said.
Footage from the scene showed bodies lying on the ground in the wake of the crash.
A video from one witness purported to show the driver standing outside the van and repeatedly pointing an object at police, ignoring shouted orders to get down. The video ends with the man being arrested.
The suspect has not been identified.
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