“No, get down!” the officer shouted back.
The cop who refused to shoot accused Toronto killer Alek Minassian — even as the suspected shouted, “Kill me!” during the pair’s tense standoff — is being hailed as a hero for capturing the driver alive.
Dramatic video footage taken by a bystander showed the unidentified police officer in a standoff with Minassian, 25, in the middle of a street Monday, moments after the suspect allegedly fatally mowed down 10 pedestrians.
Minassian was pointing a dark object at the officer and telling him “Kill me!” and “Shoot me in the head!”
The suspect told him he had a gun in his pocket, but the officer replied, “I don’t care, get down!”
The officer then quickly walked toward Minassian, who dropped what he was holding and raised both hands, allowing himself to be handcuffed.
“The officer did a fantastic job with respect to utilizing his ability of understanding the circumstance and environment and having a peaceful resolution at the end of the day,” said Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders, according to The Globe and Mail.
Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormak said the “hero” cop is humble and easygoing, though “shaken” — not by the arrest, but by the carnage preceding it.
“He said, ‘Mike, I just did my job. What I did was no big deal. But look at these poor people,’ ” McCormak recalled.
Gary Clement, a retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police superintendent with 34 years of policing experience, said it was quite clear Minassian was looking to commit “suicide by cop.”
“I would say this individual met the right police officer,” Clement told Reuters. “Nobody knows how they’re going to react. In this situation, a lot of it comes down to muscle memory. This [officer] reacted in a very mature manner.”
Some on social media also praised the officer’s restraint.
“Takes a special kind of human to remain as calm as that cop did when taking down the suspect yesterday in Toronto,” tweeted Stu Schwartz.
Others noted the cop’s actions in comparison to those of US police, who have been accused of being too quick to pull the trigger in similar situations.
“Here is the Canadian police officer arresting the suspect in the Toronto attack in North York today — his restraint is nothing short of amazing… now imagine if they were in America,” tweeted Amee Vanderpool.
“This is how you serve and protect. Using your gun is the last resort,” wrote Allegra Shaw.
“This was unbelievable — we should send our cops to Toronto for training,” suggested user @notanicegirl1.
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