Toronto van attack: Victims included a volunteer with a 'generous heart' and a beloved sports-loving grandmother

A photograph of victim Anne Marie D'Amico is shown at a vigil, on April 24, 2018, in Toronto, Canada.
A photograph of victim Anne Marie D'Amico is shown at a vigil, on April 24, 2018, in Toronto, Canada. PHOTO: AFP
A boy writes a message at a memorial for victims of the mass killing on Yonge Street at Finch Avenue, on April 24, 2018, in Toronto, Canada.
A boy writes a message at a memorial for victims of the mass killing on Yonge Street at Finch Avenue, on April 24, 2018, in Toronto, Canada.PHOTO: AFP
People gathering for a moment of silence at a memorial for victims of the mass killing on Yonge St. at Finch Ave, on April 24, 2018.
People gathering for a moment of silence at a memorial for victims of the mass killing on Yonge St. at Finch Ave, on April 24, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

TORONTO, Canada - Details about the victims of the Toronto van attack have begun to emerge as police sifted through the evidence following Monday's (April 23) deadly rampage that saw pedestrians being mowed down on a crowded sidewalk, killing 10 people.

The attack - which occurred during lunchtime in the centre of Toronto, Canada's biggest city - was the country's deadliest mass killing in decades.

Suspect Alek Minassian, 25, was on Tuesday charged with murder over the incident, Reuters reported.

Lead investigator Detective-Sergeant Graham Gibson said the victims were "predominantly women" and ranged in age from the mid-20s to 80s.

However, Ontario Chief Coroner Dirk Huyer said it would be days before all the victims are publicly identified.

Here's what we know of those who have died in the attack.

ANNE MARIE D'AMICO

To her colleagues, she was a warm friendly face in the office. To her family, she was someone with a " generous heart" who " always did big things for people".

Ms Anne Marie D'Amico, who media reports said was 30 years old, was the last person to be hit by the white rented van that rammed through pedestrians on the busy Yonge Street in the centre of Toronto.

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), she was an employee at Invesco, a US-based investment management company that was located on Yonge Street.

Mr Rob Greco, a bystander, said he saw her being struck by the van and called 911 to assist her afterwards. "She was the last person that I saw get hit by the van. I was just telling Anne Marie to be brave, help is on the way," he told CBC News.

Her family called her a "shining light". In a statement, they said: "Her name has been broadcast around the world attached to this terrible tragedy. But we want everyone to know that she embodied the definition of altruism."

"We hope that in this time, people fight with the same altruism (she had) rather than anger and hatred."

 
 
 
 

One of her friends, Ms Jenn Digiandomenico, told The Globe and Mail that Ms D'Amico had a penchant for volunteering and had gone on a humanitarian tour with her to the Dominican Republic two and a half years ago to help build homes for needy families.

Ms D'Amico's death was also confirmed by Invesco's president Peter Intraligi in a statement, CBC reported.

"Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those impacted by this tragic event. I can now confirm that unfortunately one of our employees has succumbed to her injuries. Out of respect for her and her family, we will not be providing any further comments," he said.

Ms D'Amico's colleague at Invesco Jon Tam said she was always smiling and was "full of life, loved to travel, loved to help volunteer."

She was also an avid tennis player and had volunteered with Tennis Canada. According to The Globe and Mail, she was selected from among 1,200 volunteers as "volunteer of the year" two years ago.

"Her passion … was contagious and we are honoured to let the world know what an amazing person she was and the great things she did for others," Tennis Canada said in a statement.

DOROTHY SEWELL

The 80-year-old grandmother's death was confirmed by her grandson Elwood Delaney, who told The Globe and Mail that he wants her to be remembered as "a true Canadian, always helping everybody, and loved her sports."

He said: "(She was) the best grandmother anyone could have asked for."

Among Ms Sewell's favourite sports teams were the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team and the city's ice hockey team the Toronto Maple Leafs, he said.

Mr Delaney wrote an emotional Facebook post about her death on Tuesday that was accompanied with photos of Ms Sewell and addressed to the suspected attacker.

"Thanks to you I had to tell my 3 children and my wife that they will no longer get to talk to Nan on (their) birthdays or Christmas."

SOUTH KOREANS

Two South Koreans have been confirmed dead in the incident, the Yonhap news agency reported.

According to the CBC, the area where the attack happened was home to a large Korean community.

There has been no information available on the two Korean fatalities.

South Korea's foreign ministry on Wednesday said five of its citizens were also injured in the incident.

The South Korean Consulate General in Toronto has asked police to identify the casualties and is providing consular service for the victims and their families, the ministry said.

JORDANIAN

The Jordanian Embassy confirmed to CBC News that one of its citizens was among the dead.

The victim was identified by Jordan's state-run news agency as Munir Najjar, who was in Canada to visit family, the Globe and Mail reported.