Grief over deadly Toronto van attack sinks in

Three days after rampage, people still gathering at memorial to lay flowers and honour victims

Tributes are seen on a memorial at Yonge St. and Finch Ave. in Toronto on Thursday, April 26, 2018 for the victims of Monday’s deadly van attack. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press)

Grief over the deadly van attack that took place on the streets of Toronto is sinking in as the public learns more about the 10 people killed in the rampage, mourners said Thursday.

Three days after a van careened down a stretch of Yonge Street, striking pedestrians in its path, city residents were still gathering at the site to lay flowers, shed tears and pay tribute.

One of them was Kristi Wing, who works in the area and had seen paramedics treating patients and covering those who were beyond help in the moments after Monday’s incident. The tragedy feels more real now that victims’ personal stories are coming to light, she said.

“I saw bodies and now there are names and faces to them,” she said.

READ MORE: Officer’s actions ‘one shining moment’ after Toronto van attack

The makeshift memorial to those who lost their lives in the incident continued to grow Thursday as bouquets, candles and written notes were added. The messages, written in numerous languages, included the sentiments “rest in peace” and “spread love, not hate.”

Nil Adjei, another visitor to the memorial, said he used to live in the area years ago and was drawn to the site after the attack.

“I felt it’s my duty to come over and pay tribute,” he said.

Authorities have not named any of those killed, saying identifying the victims will take time given the size of the crime scene and the scope of the probe.

But other sources have identified some of the dead. They ranged in age from their 20s to their 90s, hailed from as far away as Jordan and South Korea, and are remembered for everything from their passion for cooking to their devotion to their young children.

Social media posts from various co-workers identified one of the victims as Chulmin (Eddie) Kang, a chef at a downtown Toronto steakhouse.

“It hurts knowing I won’t be able to see your bright smile every weekend, or hear you say ‘Hi’ to everyone in your energetic voice,” coworker Mailee Ly wrote in a Facebook post.

On Thursday evening, the University of Toronto confirmed one of its students was among the deceased, though it did not release a name.

“We are deeply saddened that a member of our community has died as a result of this terrible incident,” university president Meric Gertler said in a written statement. “We mourn the loss of our student and want those affected to know that they have the support of the university.”

Others killed include Renuka Amarasingha, a Toronto school board employee who was the sole caregiver for her seven-year-old child, and Betty Forsyth, believed to be in her 90s, who was described as a lively person who loved to feed animals on her walks through the neighbourhood around the scene of the attack.

The victims also include Jordanian citizen Munir Alnajjar, who had recently travelled to the city to visit his son; Anne Marie D’Amico, an investment company worker with a love of volunteering; and Dorothy Sewell, an 80-year-old grandmother who was passionate about local sports.

Two unidentified Korean nationals and an unnamed student from Seneca College were also killed.

In addition to the 10 people who died, police say 14 others were injured in the attack allegedly carried out by 25-year-old Alek Minassian of Richmond Hill, Ont.

Minassian has been charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder, with police anticipating a 14th count in the coming days.

Toronto police did not provide updates Thursday on the ongoing investigation into Minassian’s activities.

Michelle McQuigge and Peter Goffin, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Flowers, notes and candles are piled high at a vigil on Yonge Street in Toronto. (Galit Rodan/The Canadian Press)

Just Posted

UPDATE: YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Couple shaken up after homophobic encounter at Kelowna mall

‘We’re not in the States; we’re not in some little hick town; we’re in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. And it still happens’

Rollover on Highway 97 in West Kelowna

Traffic on Highway 97 is backed up in the southbound lanes

Dog locks out Kelowna couple on 4th floor patio

Kelowna firefighters were called in to rescue the two people

Regional District of the Central Okanagan supports North Westside governance study

The RDCO will write a letter of support for the community’s restructure planning grant application

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Summerland Blossom Youth Ambassador Program to hold coronation

Event will be held by video as a result of COVID-19 precautions

Vernon shutterbugs capture rainbow

A rain event July 9 made way for a glorious sight

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Summerland to allow in-person attendance at July 13 council meetings

Two meetings will be held at Summerland Arena Banquet Room to accommodate public

Fundraiser kicks off for Lake Country families displaced by house fire

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise $5K for those who lost everything in early morning blaze

Rescued hawk returned to Lumby skies

A rehabilitated Swainson’s hawk was returned to its Rawlings Lake habitat

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

Most Read