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  1. ITV Report

Toronto van attack suspect Alek Minassian charged with murder and attempted murder

A rental van was used in the attack. Credit: AP

The suspected driver of a van which ploughed into pedestrians in Canada, leaving 10 people dead and injuring 15 others, has been charged with 10 counts of murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.

Alek Minassian appeared in a Toronto courtroom on Tuesday where he was charged.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has dismissed the possibility of terrorism, saying that authorities see no national security element in what happened.

Moreover, the case has not been turned over to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a sign that investigators believe that it is unlikely that terrorism was the motive.

However, no other motives or causes have been disclosed by authorities, although the city's police chief said the "incident definitely looked deliberate".

Alek Minassian appeared in a Toronto courtroom on Tuesday. Credit: Linkedin

Minassian, who lives in the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill, had not been known to police previously.

An online social media profile described him as a college student.

The 25-year-old will appear in court again on May 10.

Following the rental van incident at around 1.30pm local time (6.30pm BST) on Monday, the driver attempted to flee the scene but was arrested shortly afterwards by police.

Witnesses at the scene said the van was moving fast and appeared to be deliberately trying to hit people.

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.

Emergency services closed Yonge Street following the attack. Credit: AP

Meanwhile, the President of Toronto's police union says an officer's behavior in arresting Minassian was "one shining moment" in an otherwise horrific day.

Mike McCormack said the Toronto Police Association was "extremely proud" of the officer who "may have prevented additional deaths".

Videos circulating on social media show the officer confronting the suspect even as he points a dark object toward the officer.

The officer refuses to shoot and repeatedly yells for the man to get down.

The suspect warns he has a gun in his pocket and can be heard saying: "Shoot me in the head."

From a high-rise window, another video appears to show the suspect walking backward with his arms raised as the officer moves toward him.

The suspect eventually goes to the ground and street-level footage shows the officer kneeling over him as he lies on the pavement.