Woman injured in 2018 Toronto van attack dies

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Nov. 12 (UPI) — A 65-year-old woman injured in 2018 when a man deliberately drove his van into more than a dozen people in Toronto has died, Canadian authorities said, raising the death toll from the attack to 11.

Toronto police said in a statement Thursday that Amaresh Tesfamariam succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead in hospital on Oct. 28.

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The Toronto resident had been hospitalized since April 23, 2018, when Alek Minassian, then 25 years old, drove his white van onto the sidewalk at the busy intersection of Younge Street and Finch Avenue, striking 14 people, 10 of whom died.

In March, Minassian was found guilty of 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.

“This was the exercise of free will by a rational brain, capable of choosing between right and wrong,” Justice Anne Molly said in her verdict. “It does not matter that he does not have remorse, nor empathize with the victims.”

Minassian told investigators that he was inspired by previous mass killings by those motivated by the incel ideology, which stands of involuntary celibate. The Anti-Defamation League describes incels as heterosexual men who blame women and society for their lack of romantic success, believing women have too much power in sexual relationships.

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With Tesfamariam’s death, Minassian killed nine women in the attack.

“Make no mistake, this was an attack fueled by misogyny and hatred of women and should be treated as such,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a statement on the day Minassian was convicted. “We must all stand up against this kind of hateful behavior and those who promote it.”

Tesfamariam, a nurse, was left paralyzed from the neck down by the accident.

Her death though now considered a homicide will not result in additional charges against Minassian, authorities said.

“It is my understanding that a new charge will not be laid,” police spokesman Const. David Hopkins said. “But the judge will consider that there is a new victim in sentencing.”

Minassian is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 11.