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Drink splashed on windshield ended Toronto van attack: suspect

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AFP Ottawa
A man accused of killing 10 people by plowing a van into pedestrians in Toronto last year stopped only after his windshield was obscured by a splashed drink, a police interrogation video showed Friday.
Alek Minassian, 26, was charged with 10 counts of premeditated murder and 16 counts of attempted murder following the attack in April 2018.
He was arrested immediately afterwards, and in a four-hour interrogation video Minassian told a police officer that "the only reason I stopped my attack was because someone's drink got splashed on my windshield."

"I wanted to do more, but (I had) kind of been foiled by a lack of visibility," he said in the video ordered released by a judge after pressure from media organisations.
Minassian was found after the attack standing by the rented van with its front end mangled and behaving erratically, video footage aired at the time showed.
He told police he aimed to die in a "suicide by cop," but the arresting officer instead ordered him to the ground and he complied.
"If I'm going to live, I'd rather not encounter a physically painful experience, so I decided I have no choice but to admit defeat at that point."

Dressed in a white prison jumpsuit in a small interrogation room, Minassian described how his anger toward women -- which he said motivated the attack -- began five years earlier when several women at a Halloween party scorned his advances.
He recalled them laughing at him and throwing their arms around "obnoxious brutes."

He said he was introduced to online message boards in college where he found likeminded men describing themselves as "incels," whose frustrations over "being unable to get laid" led them to become pushers of a misogynist ideology.
He encountered in the chat rooms two mass killers -- Elliot Rodger and Chris Harper-Mercer -- who would go on to commit separate attacks in California and Oregon.
By April 2018, he said he had become consumed with violent thoughts.
"I was thinking that I would inspire future masses to join me in my uprising as well," he told investigators.
On the morning of the attack, he said he ate breakfast, brushed his teeth, checked his emails for possible job offers, went for a walk to clear his mind and then played video games.
Later after picking up the rented van, he posted on Facebook from his phone: "The incel rebellion has begun." His trial is scheduled to begin in February 2020.

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First Published: Sep 27 2019 | 10:20 PM IST

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