The Toronto Van Attack: Spiteful Incel Attempts To Mow Down Over 100 People

Holly Alexis
4 min readAug 16, 2021

[Toronto, Ontario]

Alek Minassian was a socially awkward 26 year old pursuing a degree in Information Technology at Seneca College in North York, Ontario.

He described himself as an “incel” meaning involuntarily celibacy because of not being able to find a sexual partner. Incels partake in an online subculture that uses chat rooms to release a load of self-pity, their hatred for women, and self-entitlement for sex. In the incel community, they refer to attractive men who are able to find sexual partners as “Chad.” In contrast, they refer to women as “Stacy.”

On April 23rd, 2018, Alek walked into Ryder Truck Rental to book the rental of a 10 foot van. He said needed the van to move furniture more easily. In reality, he was preparing to go on a vehicular rampage as revenge for his inability to find a partner. He had grown very resentful of women and wanted revenge. Alek explained that the van was the best choice because it was a large enough vehicle to inflict major destruction.

His main goal was to hit women, but ultimately knew that men would become collateral damage.

He logged onto his Facebook account and posted a status saying: “Private (Recruit) Miniassian Infrantry 00010, wishing to speak to Sgt 4chan (chatroom used for incels) please C23249161. The Incel Rebellion has already begun! We will overthrow all the Chads and Stacys! All hail the Supreme Gentlemen Elliot Rodger!”

At 1:25pm, he got behind the wheel of the van, ran a red light, and hit the gas pedal at an intersection.

Then he purposely swerved onto the sidewalk mowing down multiple innocent pedestrians. Alek later told police that his goal was to kill 100 people to set a new world record.

The terror only came to a stop after one of the victim’s drinks splattered all over the windshield of the van and prevented him from having a clear view.

By the time Alek came to a rolling stop, bystanders had called police for help. Authorities approached him when he was cleaning the outside of the windshield. Alek pointed a dark object at one officer in an effort to be shot. However, the officer was able to physically force him to the ground without it turning deadly.

The object Alek wielded was confirmed to not be a gun.

Overall, Alek had crashed into a total of 26 people, ages 22 to 94 years old. Ten of the victims died. Eight of the ones who passed away were women.

Alek’s defense lawyer claimed that his autism put him into a state of psychosis. They added that he was incapable of showing or feeling empty due to the psychosis. However, prosecutors insist that autism does not count as as a mental disorder, nor did it distort Alek’s ability to understand his actions. His psychiatrist sided with the prosecution saying, “His partly stated motive to commit these acts was to gain notoriety, to become infamous, which in my view implies a pretty clear knowledge that people are going to view this as a terrible thing.”

Alek was charged with 10 counts of first degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder. In May of 2021, he was found guilty of all charges. His sentencing trial has been postponed until 2022.



Holly Alexis

25. Sociology & Criminal Justice Major. True Crime Fanatic. Cheap Shopper. Writer. All articles are tossed together from the comfort of my couch.