Police Are Investigating After a Van Struck Pedestrians in Toronto, Killing 9

Shortly before 1:30 p.m. on Monday, a white van struck pedestrians on Yonge Street and Finch Avenue in Toronto, killing nine people and wounding 16.

According to witnesses who spoke to the New York Times, the driver of the white van left a trail of destruction and debris nearly a mile long after he hit a pedestrian crossing Yonge Street, and proceeded to drive onto the sidewalk, plowing down pedestrians.

"One by one, one by one," one witness described the van's path down the sidewalk as it struck pedestrians to the Times. "Holy God, I’ve never seen such a sight before. I feel sick."

Officers were called to the scene shortly before 1:30 pm, and police said they had arrested the driver around one hour later at 2:45 p.m, following a standoff between the driver and police. As per videos posted by witnesses of the driver's arrest, he could be seen confronting officers, saying he had a gun in his pocket and yelling at them to "shoot me in the head," before being taken into custody.

The driver has been identified as 25-year-old Alek Minassian, and while police have yet to identify a motive, law enforcement sources told CBS News that they are investigating the incident as a deliberate act.

"If it was an accident he would have stopped," Peter Kang, a witness, told CBS. "But the person just went through the sidewalk. He could have stopped."

As of Monday evening, several victims remained in critical condition, and the street area near the incident is closed until further notice. The attack is one of the worst mass killings in the modern history of Canada.

This story is still developing. Follow Toronto Police Operations Centre on Twitter for updates.

Hannah is an editorial intern for Her Campus and the editor of the High School section as well as a chapter writer for the University of Michigan. Achievements include being voted "Biggest Belieber" (2010) and "Most Likely to Have a Child Born Addicted to Starbucks" (2016), as well as taking a selfie with the back of Jim Harbaugh's head.  Goals for the future include taking a selfie with the front of Jim Harbaugh's head.  She's also an obsessive Instagrammer, so hit her with a follow @hannah.harshe

Caroline is the Evening/Weekend Editor and Style Editor at Her Campus, a senior public relations major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a leather jacket enthusiast.  You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @c_pirozzolo. 

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