The first victim publicly identified after a van plowed down a Toronto sidewalk, killing 10 people, was a woman who worked at an investment management firm and enjoyed sports and volunteering. Anne Marie D’Amico, 30, worked at Invesco, which is near the scene of Monday’s incident.
Toronto City Councilor Cesar Palacio said D’Amico was a friend of his daughter, and he remembers her as “a brilliant young girl” who was interested in improving society. On Tuesday he spoke with her parents, who live in his ward.
“You can imagine the nightmare, the living nightmare they’re going through at this moment,” he said.
A colleague described D’Amico as “full of life,” the BBC reports.
D’Amico volunteered at a Canada-based international humanitarian charity called Live Different. She helped build houses in the Dominican Republic in 2015 and 2017, according to Dave Hamilton, the charity’s manager of school partnerships. He remembered her as “super-positive, always smiling, a funny person, always up for a challenge, and really wanted to help people out.”
D’Amico also volunteered with the nonprofit Tennis Canada association, working at the Rogers Cup tournament since the age of 12. She started out as a ball girl and worked her way up to be an “integral” part of the volunteer team, most recently leading a committee on stadium control, the association said. She was voted volunteer of the year in 2016.
“Anne Marie lived for working at Rogers Cup and seeing her fellow volunteers each summer,” said Gavin Ziv, the association’s vice president of professional events. “The tournament was such a large part of her life, and we were so lucky to have her on our team each summer.”
On Tuesday, the suspect in Monday’s deadly incident was charged. A judge in Canada ordered 25-year-old Alek Minassia detained on 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 of attempted murder. Police said they are “really aggressively” working to identify all the victims.
Minassian wore a white jail jumpsuit and had his hands handcuffed during his court appearance. He showed little emotion. He was asked to say his name and if he understood an order not to have any contact with anyone injured in Monday’s crash scene on a busy sidewalk. He did not enter a plea to the charges and was ordered to return to court on May 10.
Authorities so far had not disclosed a possible motive or cause, though “the incident definitely looked deliberate,” Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters.
Witnesses and the city’s police chief said the suspect, who was quickly captured following a tense confrontation with police, appeared to intentionally drive the rental van into the crowd along busy Yonge Street in north Toronto.
“It was like he playing a video game, trying to kill as many people as possible,” said Panna Patel, 42, who works in the area and was getting cash from an ATM when she heard what at first sounded like explosions. “He was looking people directly in the eye, making eye contact, it was so scary. He wasn’t remorseful at all.”