Bank robbery suspect charged in Toronto crossbow deaths - police

Toronto police are investigating the deaths of three people who appeared to have been injured by a crossbow bolt.
Residents stand at a crime scene near a house where three people died in an incident involving a crossbow on Aug 25, 2016.
Residents stand at a crime scene near a house where three people died in an incident involving a crossbow on Aug 25, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

TORONTO (REUTERS) - A Toronto man linked to a string of bank robberies was charged with three counts of first-degree murder after three people were killed in a crossbow attack on a quiet suburban street, police in Canada’s largest city said on Friday (Aug 26).

Brett Ryan, 35, who appeared in court briefly on Friday morning, was previously arrested in 2008 and faced numerous charges as the “fake beard bandit,” who committed robberies in disguise, police said.

Two men and a woman died at the house in the city’s east end on Thursday.

Police responding to a call about a stabbing found the three bleeding on the driveway outside a nearby garage.

One of the victims made a 911 call before dying, according to a local newspaper report, and the suspect was also wounded.

Ryan was jailed for three years and nine months in the bank robbery cases, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

His lawyer declined to comment.

Ryan, who next appears in court on Sept 2, was dressed in what appeared to be a white poncho during his court appearance.

He kept his hands clasped, blinked rapidly and did not make eye contact with the public gallery.

In another incident on Thursday that police said was related to the killings, police evacuated a downtown building due to a suspicious package.

They gave no details on how the cases were related and declined to comment on Friday.