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Toronto van attack suspect was briefly a military recruit

Last Updated Apr 24, 2018 at 1:35 pm MDT

Federal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has confirmed that last year Toronto van attack suspect, Alek Minassian, was in military recruit training for 16 days.

Minassian then left by voluntary release – meaning he chose not to continue training.

A statement from the Department of National Defence says Minassian was a member of the forces from Aug. 23, 2017 to Oct. 25, 2017.

The 25-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., was charged on Tuesday with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.

Ten people were killed and 15 people injured after a van mounted a sidewalk in north Toronto on Monday afternoon.

Minassian had attended Thornlea Secondary School in Richmond Hill, graduating in 2011, according to school officials, who declined to provide further details.

A LinkedIn page with Minassian’s name and photograph lists him as a student at Seneca College from 2011 to this year.

The area surrounding Minassian’s Richmond Hill, Ont., home, just 20 minutes north of where the van incident took place, was cordoned off with police tape on Tuesday morning, with officers entering the home a few times to speak to someone inside.

The few neighbours that were around said they didn’t know the family well, but had noticed that its members kept to themselves.