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story.lead_photo.caption An injured person is put into the back of an ambulance in Toronto after a van mounted a sidewalk crashing into a crowd of pedestrians Monday, April 23, 2018.

TORONTO — A rented van drove onto a crowded Toronto sidewalk Monday, killing nine people and injuring 16 before the driver fled and was quickly arrested in a confrontation with police, Canadian authorities said.

Witnesses said the driver was moving fast and appeared to be acting deliberately, but police said they did not yet know the cause or any possible motive. The name of the suspect was not released.

Toronto Police Services Deputy Chief Peter Yuen released no details about the investigation as he announced the number of casualties.

Yuen said police were still interviewing witnesses and examining surveillance video as part of what he called a "complex" investigation.

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Photos by The Associated Press

"I can assure the public all our available resources have been brought in to investigate this tragic situation," he said.

The incident occurred as Cabinet ministers from the major industrial countries were gathered in Canada to discuss a range of international issues in the run-up to the G7 meeting near Quebec City in June.

Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale said that it was too soon to say whether the crash was a case of international terrorism and that the government had not raised its terrorism alert.

A senior national government official later said that authorities had not turned over the investigation to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a sign that investigators believed it unlikely terrorism was the motive. The official agreed to reveal that information only if not quoted by name.

The driver was heading south on busy Yonge Street around 1:30 p.m. and the streets were crowded with people enjoying an unseasonably warm day when the van jumped onto the sidewalk.

Ali Shaker, who was driving near the van at the time, told Canadian broadcast outlet CP24 that the driver appeared to be moving deliberately through the crowd at more than 30 mph.

"He just went on the sidewalk," a distraught Shaker said. "He just started hitting everybody, man. He hit every single person on the sidewalk. Anybody in his way he would hit."

Witness Peter Kang told CTV News that the driver did not seem to make any effort to stop.

"If it was an accident he would have stopped," Kang said. "But the person just went through the sidewalk. He could have stopped."

Video broadcast on several Canadian outlets showed police arresting the driver, dressed in dark clothes, after officers surrounded him and his rental Ryder van several blocks from where the incident occurred in the North York neighborhood of northern Toronto. He appeared to make some sort of gesture at the police with an object in his hand just before they ordered him to lie down on the ground and took him away.

Witness Phil Zullo told Canadian Press that he saw police arresting the suspect and people "strewn all over the road" where the incident occurred.

"I must have seen about five, six people being resuscitated by bystanders and by ambulance drivers," Zullo said. "It was awful. Brutal."

Police shut down the Yonge and Finch intersection after the incident, and Toronto's transit agency said it had suspended service on the subway line running through the area.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his sympathies for those involved. "Our hearts go out to everyone affected," Trudeau said in Ottawa. "We are going to have more to learn and more to say in the coming hours."

Read Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Comments

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  • mozarky2
    April 23, 2018 at 1:38 p.m.

    Obviously a large capacity van with a fully automatic transmission...

  • LRDawg
    April 23, 2018 at 1:46 p.m.

    Vans are also used for transportation. Try riding your gun to work....you'll die because guns have no other uses

  • abb
    April 23, 2018 at 2:39 p.m.

    So LRDawg...guess we can disarm cops, security guards and military since guns have no uses? Moron statement of the day. ...and Mozarky, no one needs an auto transmission. .....use a stick shift......for the chillrun'!

  • Packman
    April 23, 2018 at 3:42 p.m.

    Hey LRDawg - Try shooting skeet with a Ryder truck. Moron.
    .
    Ryder truck. What was that you bedwetting libs were saying about Ryder trucks? Narrative destroyed. Move along little gun grabbers, move along.

  • JakeTidmore
    April 23, 2018 at 5:16 p.m.

    Lot of hens laying square eggs here and squawking about it. Typically, news is followed by noise. Silly chickens.

  • LRDawg
    April 23, 2018 at 5:23 p.m.

    Shooting skeet? This is the 21st century Pack, WAKE UP! Ryder trucks are most commonly used for moving. Guns are ALWAYS used to kill or destroy....even when shooting skeet #Facts

  • JakeTidmore
    April 23, 2018 at 5:55 p.m.

    Don't forget LRD that the best defense against these rogue trucks has been blocking their access and pathway, limiting their usage as a weapon.

  • Packman
    April 23, 2018 at 7:14 p.m.

    Hey LRDawg - Got any good skeet recepies? OMG, you CANNOT make this stuff up! Moving the goalposts does not change the fact you are a moron. Is your idea to remove all 300 million or so guns from the hands of law abiding citizens, LRDawgs?
    .
    It's not about inanimate objects. It's about evil acts by people that involve inanimate objects.

  • MaxCady
    April 23, 2018 at 11:11 p.m.

    I'm just here for the comments.

  • JakeTidmore
    April 24, 2018 at 7:49 a.m.

    Another point for LRD:

    How many military assault vehicles (tanks) are civilians allowed to have and drive on the highways?
    In a similar vein, the average citizen does NOT need or should have military weapons. The exception I would make is to follow the Swiss rule for their soldiers.

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