Accused in Toronto van assault wished to eliminate 100 individuals, yet ‘completely satisfied’ with 10 fatalities, court hears

A psychologist retained by the prosecution says the man who killed 10 pedestrians in Toronto’s van attack wanted to kill 100 people.

Dr. Percy Wright says Alek Minassian told him more than a year after the 2018 attack that he was satisfied with his “kill count” but had wanted to take more lives.

Minassian has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder.

The defence argues that the 28-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., should be held not criminally responsible for his actions due to autism spectrum disorder.

Minassian’s state of mind is the sole issue at trial as he has admitted to planning and carrying out the attack.

Wright has testified that Minassian had anger issues and knew right from wrong.

The psychologist said Minassian told him if he killed 100 people, he would “set a world record” and be placed on top of a leaderboard of mass killers.

“He said if his kill count was high, he would not be viewed as a failure or a screwup that never got promoted and thought of as weird,” Wright wrote in his report.

“He stated that rather than die in obscurity as a weird person he would be a celebrity of sorts.”

Minassian told Wright in one of their interviews in October 2019 that he felt “very happy and excited” people were talking about what he had done, court heard.

“He stated despite not meeting his goal of 100, he was satisfied with a count of 10 and he ‘had not wasted anything, I was effective enough,”’ Wright wrote in his report.

The trial previously heard from a psychiatrist testifying for the defence that Minassian lacks empathy and does not understand the moral wrongfulness of killing 10 people.

Dr. Alexander Westphal said, however, that a finding of criminal responsibility is a legal matter rather than a psychiatric one.

Another forensic psychiatrist has said Minassian did not meet the test to be found not criminally responsible.

This article first published here www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/toronto/article-accused-in-toronto-van-attack-wanted-to-kill-100-people-but/