Alek Minassian, author of the massacre of 10 people in Toronto in April 2018, as well as injuring 16 others, when a van ran over pedestrians who were walking along the side of a street, declared this Tuesday not criminally responsible for his actions.
Minassian, who appeared by videoconference from prison before a Toronto court at the start of the trial for the April 23, 2018 massacre, only told Judge Anne Molloy that he declared himself “not criminally responsible for all the charges.”
Minassian, who has been linked to an online misogynist movement known as “incel,” a term that means “involuntary celibate,” is charged with 10 first-degree murders and 16 attempted murders.
Eight of the 10 who died were women, aged between 22 and 94 years old. Several of the injured suffered limb amputation and severe brain damage among other injuries.
In March this year, Minassian, 28, declared himself the author of the massacre but his lawyer, Boris Bytensky, said today at the beginning of the trial that his client is not criminally responsible for his actions because he is mentally ill.
Minassian’s family has said that the perpetrator suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism.
On April 23, 2018, Minassian, who was 26 years old at the time, picked up a rental van that he had hired three weeks in advance and drove 2.5 kilometers down Yonge Street, one of Toronto’s main streets, running over the passersby walking on the sidewalks.
Shortly after, a police officer arrested Minassian next to the van, a moment that was videotaped by several passersby. Minassian, who pretended to believe that his cell phone was a pistol, repeatedly asked the police officer to shoot him in the head.
Finally, Agent Ken Lam arrested him without further incident.
Before starting your attack, Minassian posted a misogynistic message on Facebook stating that “the rebellion ‘incel’ has begun. We will shoot down all Chads and Stacys, “a reference to Elliot Rodger, an American student who in 2014 killed six people and wounded thirteen others in an attack near the University of California.