Toronto van attacker found guilty on all counts

(Photo of the Toronto Courthouse courtesy of Wikipedia)

A judge has found Alek Minassian, the man behind the wheel when a van plowed down pedestrians on a Toronto street three years ago, guilty.

The incident on April 23, 2018, killed 10 people and injured another 16.

Minassian was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 of attempted murder.

Those that died were Betty Forsyth, Ji Hun Kim, So He Chung, Geraldine Brady, Chul Min Kang, Anne Marie Victoria D’Amico, Munir Najjar, Dorothy Marie Sewell, Andrea Bradden, and Beutis Renuka Amarasingha.

Minassian, who was 25 years old, had rented a van in Vaughn and drove to Yonge Street and Finch Avenue West before starting his attack. It ended more than two kilometres down the road at Poyntz Avenue.

Later, in video footage that surfaced on social media, Minassian was heard shouting at Toronto Police Constable Ken Lam to shoot him. He later admitted to investigators that he was hoping to commit suicide “by cop.”

Minassian detailed for police how he was bitter about his lack of success with women, his fascination with school shootings, and his desire to die in a blaze of glory.

Acting Toronto Police Chief told the media later that day he was unknown to police before the incident.

His lawyers argued the Richmond Hill man was incapable of feeling empathy for his victims because of his autism spectrum diagnosis. It was a line of defence that angered advocates for the autistic.

The Toronto Star reported Judge Anne Molloy referred to Minassian during her verdict as “John Doe” in a bid to deprive him of the notoriety he had sought.

She told the court, Minassian “knew what he was doing.”