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Toronto cop doesn't want to be called a hero for arrest of van attack suspect

Last Updated Apr 25, 2018 at 6:46 pm PDT

Summary

Humble officer hailed as hero after arresting Toronto van suspect

Officer who didn't shoot Toronto van suspect is getting the help he needs, say police

TORONTO, ON. (NEWS 1130) – The police officer who showed remarkable composure in arresting the driver suspected of killing 10 people in Toronto earlier this week is receiving the support he needs, according to one of the city’s top cops.

Constable Ken Lam is being hailed as a hero for arresting the suspect in Monday’s deadly van attack without firing a single shot. However, Deputy Chief Peter Yuen says Lam doesn’t want the hero status, adding he feels he was just doing his job.

“The hero status, he doesn’t want it. He’s very appreciative, but he believed when he decided to leave his job as engineer in midlife to join this job, he believes he made the right decision.

“He did something for the community. You have to realize this is a man who graduated from university, worked as an engineer for 14 years before he joined this job in his mid-thirties… This is not a fairytale, where he grew up wanting to be a police officer,” says Yuen.

Lam, a traffic response officer, did not speak at today’s news conference.

Yuen told reporters today that there are reasons Lam cannot share his story with the media. “First of all, he is the key witness of a multiple homicide. He will be required to attend court.”

Yuen says Lam is doing fairly well, “but I cannot assure you what’s going to happen tomorrow. When you go through traumatic experiences, there’s a cycle that you go through… I’m not a medical doctor, but anyone will tell you — some people can rationalize this, digest this in three days. Some could be in three months. Some will be a lifetime. For officer Lam, it will be day by day.”

Moments after a van drove into dozens of people on a busy Toronto street, Lam was seen on cellphone video calmly confronting the suspect.

Even though the suspect points an object at him in a threatening manner repeatedly, and can be heard saying “I have a gun in my pocket,” Lam does not fire his weapon. Instead, he turns off the sirens of his police cruisers, takes out a baton, walks toward the suspect, and handcuffs him on the ground.

The crash left 10 people dead and 15 injured.

Alek Minassian, a 25-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ontario is currently facing 10 counts of first-degree murder and over a dozen counts of attempted murder.

Police said previously Minassian went to a Ryder truck rental facility north of Toronto on Monday morning where he rented a white van. That afternoon, he reportedly drove it to Yonge Street and Finch Avenue — a busy area of Toronto’s North York neighbourhood. There, he apparently started driving into pedestrians on both the road and sidewalk.

Minassian then drove south down Yonge Street, apparently hitting more people near Sheppard Avenue. The van finally stopped just off Yonge Street on Poyntz Avenue where Lam apprehended the suspect.