A police officer has been praised for refusing to shoot a man seeking “suicide by cop”, after allegedly killing 10 people in a van attack in Toronto.
Dramatic video shows the officer, who has not yet been named, arresting Alek Minassian after a tense stand-off.
As the suspect shouted “Kill me,” the officer replied, “No, get down.”
The 25-year-old, who is also accused of injuring 15 people after mowing down pedestrians, also said: “I have a gun in my pocket.” The officer replied: “I don’t care. Get down.”
Footage shows Minassian repeatedly pulling something from his side and aiming it at the officer, who calmly edges towards him until they almost come face-to-face.
The suspect is then seen agreeing to lay on the ground as the officer tells him to put his hands behind his back.
The suspect is then handcuffed by the policeman.
Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association, said he had spoken to the officer who has been left “shaken” by the ordeal, the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail reported.
The union president said he believes the “humble and easy-going guy” is in his 30s.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said: “The officer did a fantastic job with respect to utilising his ability of understanding the circumstance and environment and having a peaceful resolution at the end of the day.”
He added: “They are taught to use as little force as possible in any given situation.”
Mr Saunders said the officer’s behaviour reflected the “high calibre” of training that takes place.
Mr McCormack said: “The officer would have been doing a continual threat assessment.”
He added that the officer would have been justified in discharging a firearm, but “this officer looked at what was going on and determined he could handle it in the way that he did”.
He said: “People are right. This guy is a hero.”
Former Toronto homicide detective Michael Davis, who heads the security agency Michael A Davis Investigations, said: “He showed tremendous restraint. “I’m sure it took tremendous strength.”
He added that he is glad the suspect is alive so he can help investigators determine a motive.
Gary Clement, a retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police superintendent with 34 years experience, said: “It’s quite apparent that the suspect was trying to be executed.
“He was really looking for ‘suicide-by-cop’.”
He added: “Nobody knows how they’re going to react. In this situation a lot of it comes down to muscle memory.
“This guy reacted in a very mature manner.”
Mr Clement added that it helped that the officer had a clear view of the suspect, who was out of the van and pacing between the pavement and arresting officer.
Twitter users have also praised the officer’s actions, with some suggesting there would not have been the same outcome in the US.
Richard Madan, a correspondent with Canadian TV channel CTV National News, wrote: “Extraordinary restraint by the Toronto police officer who didn’t fire his gun at suspect pointing at him, couldn’t see that scenario happening here in the US.”
Twitter user Bobby Panahi wrote: “Police apprehends man who killed and injured dozens in Toronto without firing a shot even when the suspect repeatedly pretended to reach for a gun.
“Note to US police next time a young black man is carrying a cell phone.”
Ryan Paisey wrote: “The restraint shown by this police officer is simply incredible, this is what a real police officer looks like.”
Minassian, from Richmond Hill, situated roughly 12 miles from the city of Toronto, is due in court later as police investigate the motive behind the alleged attack.
Mr Saunders has said his actions appear to have been intentional.
The suspect was not previously known to police, and an investigation is considering whether he acted alone.
Eyewitness Henry Miller said he saw a white van speeding at “probably 60-70mph down this major road, swerving to what I would say fairly deliberately hit pedestrians”.
From – SkyNews