′Fake beard′ bank robber charged in Toronto crossbow killings | News | DW | 26.08.2016
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'Fake beard' bank robber charged in Toronto crossbow killings

A suspect has been charged with three counts of murder after a violent attack in eastern Toronto. The man was previously convicted over a series of bank robberies in which he became known for the use of disguises.

Police in Toronto charged a bank robber nicknamed the "Fake Beard Bandit" on Friday over a triple homicide in the city's east end. The suspect, 35-year-old Brett Ryan, had previously been charged with over twelve counts of robbery before being detained over Thursday's crossbow attack.

Ryan made a brief appearance in court on Friday, and was remanded into custody until proceedings against him begin on September 2.

The names of the victims, two men and one woman, as well as the suspect's motive and relationship to the deceased, have not been released due to a publication ban. Authorities in Canada's biggest city have told the press, however, that the killings were related to a separate report of a suspicious package that saw a downtown building evacuated at approximately the same time.

One local newspaper reported that one of the victims had made a call to an emergency hotline during the attack, and claimed that the suspect had also been wounded.

The violence in a relatively quiet, residential part of town has shocked the city.

Suspect convicted of bank robbery

Ryan was first arrested in 2008 in relation to a string of bank robberies in which he wore disguises, hence the "Fake Beard" moniker. He was convicted and served three years and nine months in prison according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Social media profiles suggest that the suspect was engaged to be married in three weeks' time to a registered physiotherapist he had met on a blind date in Toronto about three years ago.

The three victims died in the driveway of a home in the Durham neighborhood of the city where Ryan is known to have resided. At least one of the victims had been shot with a crossbow, local media said.

es/kl (AP, Reuters)

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