Canada column for Sunday, April 29/18
THE CANADIAN REPORT
By Jim Fox
Toronto police are investigating whether a recently graduated college student was inspired by a California mass murderer after a speeding van ran down and killed 10 people and injured 16 others.
Alek Minassian, 25, of suburban Richmond Hill, faces first-degree murder and attempted murder charges in the incident on the sidewalk of busy Yonge Street in North Toronto.
The victims, eight of them women who appeared to be targeted by the driver, ranged in age from 22 to 94 years old.
Police homicide Inspector Bryan Bott said a “cryptic” message on a Facebook profile just moments before the incident began refers to “incel,” an online community of the “involuntarily celibate.”
It draws inspiration from Elliot Rodger, 22, who killed six people in California in 2014 after posting a video angered about his rejection by women and sexual frustration.
After trying to flee from the van, Constable Ken Lam confronted the driver who challenged him to shoot claiming he had a gun.
Lam is being praised for his cool action in ordering the man to surrender without a shot being fired.