10 people dead, 14 injured: These are the victims of the Yonge St. van rampage
A woman holds up a portrait of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi as she demonstrates with activists of the human rights group Amnesty International in front of the embassy of Saudi Arabia in Berlin, in January 2016Trudeau raises plight of jailed blogger with Saudi king
Yonge St. at Finch Ave. was bustling under Monday’s afternoon sun, when it all came to a screeching halt as a white van tore its way through the street, killing 10 and injuring 14.
Toronto police on Tuesday said they are working to confirm the identities of those killed in the rampage, and will release names in the coming days.
Here are those victims the Star has been able to independently verify. We will add more names and stories in the days to come.
Renuka Amarasinghe, 48
Renuka Amarasinghe is among those killed in Toronto’s deadly van attack.© Asoka Pinnaduwage/Facebook Renuka Amarasinghe is among those killed in Toronto’s deadly van attack.
Renuka Amarasinghe was a single mother and longtime member of the Toronto Mahavihara Buddhist Meditation Centre in Scarborough, said Ben Seneviratne, vice-president of the organization.
The Lotus Youth Council at the temple is organizing a fundraiser for her 7-year-old son, Diyon.
“This is horrible news. My condolences to her son, family, colleagues. She was part of our TDSB family,” said Trustee Tiffany Ford in a Twitter post.
Anne Marie D’Amico, 30
Anne Marie D’Amico, was just 30 when she was killed Monday. A young woman whose acts of kindness are described by friends as sometimes big and sometimes small, but above all constant.
“She was one of the most genuine, kind and all-around loving people that you probably have ever met, or might ever meet,” said Samantha Gilhooly, who worked with D’Amico at U.S. investment firm Invesco near Yonge and Sheppard Ave. “To her core, she was just happy.”
That, too, was the message from D’Amico’s loved ones.
Anne Marie D’Amico was among the 10 people killed on Yonge St. on Monday.© Provided by Toronto Star Anne Marie D’Amico was among the 10 people killed on Yonge St. on Monday.
“The best way to honour Anne Marie is to go out and have some additional act of kindness today, because that’s exactly what she would have done if she was on the other side of this,” said Gilhooly, who volunteered with her in the Dominican Republic. “I hope her kindness and generosity can live through everyone else.”
Dave Hamilton of the volunteer travel company, Live Different, said his coworkers had been reminiscing over D’Amico’s sense of humour, a smile that never seemed to leave her face, and her all-in approach to volunteering.
“Mixing concrete and carrying bricks and buckets of water,” he listed. “She was super involved with all that’s involved with providing those homes.”
Dorothy Sewell, 80
Dorothy Sewell was a great-grandmother to three little ones who lost their “Nan.” The will remember her as a passionate fan of the Leafs and Jays, her family said.
She was “the best grandma anyone could ever ask for,” grandson Elwood Delaney of Kamloops, B.C., told the Star.
On Tuesday afternoon, Delaney wrote a Facebook post addressing rampage suspect Alek Minassian:
“Thanks to you I had to tell my 3 children and my wife that cause of you they will no longer get to talk to Nan on there (sic) birthdays or Christmas. I love you Dorothy Sewell,” he wrote.
“You will always be loved and your love of sports will always be with me while I cheer with you. Go Toronto Go.”
Munir Najjar was visiting Toronto from Jordan, a trip to see his son. On Facebook, a tribute from a man describing himself as a close relative calls Najjar “a good father to your family and mine.”
“Evil took you from us,” it says.
A spokesperson for the Jordanian embassy in Ottawa told the Star “one Jordanian citizen, he was deceased in the van attack,” but did not provide other details.
The Star spoke to a friend of the family in Toronto who confirmed the news.
“Omar Najjar’s father, Munir, was killed in yesterday’s Toronto (incident), and the family wants to be alone at this point. We seek prayers for his father and for all the injured and killed,” said the family friend.
He added the Najjar family was waiting for the coroner’s office to formally identify their father, who was visiting them from Amman. Neither family, nor friends, know any other details of the event that led to Munir Najjar’s death, the family friend said.
Chul Min ‘Eddie’ Kang
Chul Min “Eddie” Kang was chef at Brazilian restaurant Copacabana, at 230 Adelaide St. W., confirmed owner Michael Rudan.
Rudan told the Star he doesn’t know why Kang, who had worked at the restaurant for six years, was at Yonge and Sheppard, but he was probably out “enjoying the day.” He called Kang, who is of Korean descent, “hardworking, loyal and salt of the earth.”
“He cooked for my kids. My kids are devastated.
“His smile would always light up the room.”
Rudan said that the staff at Copacabana is “devastated” by the loss, adding that Kang was the executive chef of a new restaurant slated to open below Copacabana in the next month or so. Kang had been hard at work on the menu in advance of the opening of Casa Fuego, which will be a Peruvian Argentinian restaurant.
“He created this cheese cake in the new menu. It had something Peruvian in it … it was great. He made black cod too that was amazing.”
“He was an amazing chef. But he was an even more amazing person.”
A student at Seneca College
Seneca College president David Agnew on Tuesday sent this message to campus: “It is with great sadness that I inform the Seneca community of the death of one of our students yesterday as a result of the horrific attack on Yonge Street. She was, along with nine others, an innocent victim of this tragic act of violence.”
The Star has not yet confirmed the identity of the student who was killed.
Two other students were hurt but didn’t need to go to hospital, the email said.
“We must grieve, and we must heal, but we must also resolve to carry on,” it added.
Toronto police on Tuesday also released a list of those injured in the rampage. They are:
Jun Seok Park
The Star is working to confirm the identities of those killed or injured in Monday’s rampage. If you or a loved one were affected, or if you have information on the events, please contact the Star’s news desk at 416-869-4301 or at [email protected]
If you want to help, or if you need assistance yourself, here’s who you can call.