Alek Minassian, the 25-year-old “van attacker” who left 10 dead and 14 injured after driving into a crowd of people in Toronto, has been revealed to have had a “fixation” with UCSB shooter Elliot Rodger.
Minassian was formally charged with ten counts of first-degree murder and 13 of attempted murder during his first appearance in court on Tuesday. Most of his victims were reportedly women who sustained minor to life-threatening injuries, MailOnline reports.
Canadian authorities have refused to call the attack a terror incident noting that it did not have any national security connection, according to NBC.
During the press conference held later that afternoon, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders and Homicide Detective Sergeant Graham Gibson revealed that upon their investigation on Minassian’s social media posts, they found that he “spoke admiringly” of Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger.
Rodger, whose murder spree of six students in the college town of Isla Vista back in 2014, has been idolized by some of the more extreme men’s rights communities and the so-called “incel” (involuntarily celibate) online groups.
Like Rodger, it appears Minassian has developed hatred towards all women because they rejected his sexual advances, CBC reports.
In one of his social media posts, Minassian made reference to the rebellion of “incels,” stating “’The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys!”
In the “incel community,” a “Chad” refers to the sexually active men while a “Stacy” means an attractive young woman who sleeps with Chads.
He even directly references Rodger by his moniker “Supreme Gentleman.”
“All hail the Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!’ he wrote.
A report earlier this year has identified Rodger as the first in a series of “alt-right killers” to strike in recent years, listing him among the 13 alleged alt-right killers to have emerged since 2014.
Rodger’s crime has been found to inspire other incidents from killers who apparently idolize him. William Edward Atchison, who even used Elliot Rodger’s name as his online pseudonym, reportedly made several references to Rodger before he went to a New Mexico high school on December 7 last year to kill two students and himself.
According to investigators, Minassian also referred to himself as a military Private at the beginning of his post, asking to speak to “sgt 4chan,” a nod to the social messaging board frequented by members of the alt-right. “Private (Recruit) Minassian Infantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan, please. C23249161,” he wrote at the beginning of his post.
The Canadian Armed Forces revealed that Minassian, who had Asperger’s Syndrome, took basic training but dropped out after just 16 days. He was described by his classmates as socially disabled, with some claiming he used to wander the school premises making cat sounds.
A partial list of his dead victims was released during the press briefing. The victims include an employee at Invesco investment management firm, a Seneca College student, a Jordanian citizen and two South Koreans. Another South Korean national was identified but is currently recovering in hospital.
Minassian’s hearing lasted only little over five minutes with the court ordering him to be detained until his next hearing which was scheduled on May 10.
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