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Toronto van attack: 'Cop deserves a medal' hero police officer praised for single-handedly arresting suspect

The police officer's act of heroism comes at a time when law enforcement officials across North America, including Toronto, have been slammed for shooting at unarmed suspects.
UPDATED JAN 21, 2020
(Source: Getty Images)
(Source: Getty Images)

The police officer who arrested the van attack suspect in Toronto, Canada, is being praised for his restraint and patience as he single-handedly nabbed the man without firing any shots. At least 10 people were killed and 15 others were wounded after a driver of a rented van ploughed into pedestrians in northern Toronto on Monday. 

A video, captured by a bystander, of the standoff between the suspect and the police officer shows a man standing near a white van stopped on a sidewalk, with his arms outstretched pointing a weapon at an officer in the street. The clip shows the man asking the officer to "kill me" and "shoot me in the head," according to The Star.

The suspect adds: "I have a gun in my pocket," while the police officer orders the suspect to "get down or you'll be shot." The officer then swiftly walks towards the suspect and arrests him near Yonge St. and Sheppard Ave. 

Reports state that no shots were fired from the suspect or the officer during the standoff.

Toronto defense lawyer, William Jaska, shortly after the release of the video, took to Twitter to praise the officer for his professionalism. "Commend the officer on his restraint and professionalism," Jaksa tweeted on Monday.

Another defense lawyer, Ari Goldkind, also appreciated the officer's efforts and said that "based on what was known at the time of the arrest, Toronto police used what appears to be remarkable restraint in not firing at the suspect when the suspect pointed a weapon at them.”

A tarp covers an unidentified body on Yonge St. at Finch Ave. after a van plowed into pedestrians on April 23, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Getty Images)

While Toronto communications guru and broadcaster, Bob Reid, said: "Cop deserves a medal" and praised the officer for maintaining his cool throughout the incident.

The president of the Toronto Police Association, Mile McCormack, also appreciated the officer's efforts and credited him with the arrest, and called him a "great guy."

"He’s shaken up by the whole thing, and shaken up by the magnitude. He said, ‘you know, I was just doing my job,’" McCormack said. "He’s been confronted by someone who is making like he has a weapon, threatening the officer’s life, trying to get the officer to shoot him, and he arrests that guy."

The commendable effort by the police officer comes at a time when law enforcement officials across North America, including Toronto, have been slammed for shooting at unarmed or mentally ill suspects.