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Toronto van attack victims: An 'incredible' charity worker and a sports-loving grandmother

Rozina Sabur
Marie D'Amico was among the victims in the Toronto attack - Tennis Canada

An 80-year-old grandmother who loved Toronto sports teams nearly as much as her own family and a "brilliant" young woman who volunteered to build houses in the Dominican Republic were among the 10 people killed when a van plowed down a Toronto pavement.

Other victims in Monday's attack included people from Jordan and South Korea, as well as a local college student. Though the names of most of the victims weren't immediately released, details began emerging about several of them as their families began mourning and memorials in their honour grew larger.

Alek Minassian, a 25-year-old student, appeared in court in the city on Tuesday morning and was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.

Anne-Marie D'Amico

The first victim was named as a charity worker called Anne-Marie D'Amico. 

A friend has spoken of his anger at losing his friend - described by her loved ones as "incredible" and "a star".

CBC reported Ms D'Amico's next of kin had been informed, and in an emotional Facebook post, Brodie MacDonald wrote: "I am so angry at the world today and I am so sorry that this happened to you and as tears roll down my face thinking about the incredible person that you were, please know that you made a difference in so many peoples' lives. 

"You were a rock, a champion, a soldier, a nurturer, a friend in Dominican. You were what we all needed, when we needed it.

"Your love for baseball is what brought you and I close, and it was to be our next meeting point in life as I was going to see you in less than three weeks when the Jays are hopefully going to pound the Red Sox in Toronto. 

"Even though you won't be there, I'll hold a beer up for you my friend. Please rest easy."

According to Ms D'Amico's Facebook profile, she graduated Ryerson University in Toronto, and worked previously at The Badminton and Racquet Club of Toronto.

She also volunteered at a Canada-based international humanitarian charity called Live Different. She helped build houses in the Dominican Republic in 2015 and 2017, according to Dave Hamilton, the charity's manager of school partnerships.

He said she was "always up for a challenge and really wanted to help people out."

It is understood her most recent job was with Invesco Canada, and the company's president Peter Intraligi is said to have confirmed her passing in a statement to CBC. 

In it, he said: "Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those impacted by this tragic event.

"I can now confirm that unfortunately one of our employees has succumbed to her injuries. Out of respect for her and her family, we will not be providing any further comments."

Dorothy Sewell

Dorothy Sewell, was an 80-year-old great-grandmother of three and an avid fan of Toronto’s Blue Jays professional baseball club and the Maple Leaf National Hockey League team.

“The best grandmother anyone could have asked for,” her grandson, Elwood Delaney said in a statement to The Telegraph.

He also had harsh words for the man Toronto police have charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder.

Dorothy Sewell, seen on the left with her family Credit: Elwood Delaney

“Alek Minassian you are very lucky you are in a jail on the other side of the country, cause If I was there you would be in the ground,” Mr Delaney wrote on Facebook.

“Thanks to you I had to tell my 3 children and my wife that cause of you they will no longer get to talk to Nan on there [sic] birthdays or Christmas. I love you Dorothy Sewell. You will always be loved and your love for sports will always be with me while I cheer with you. Go Toronto Go. Love you Nan.”

Munir Najjar

Munir Najjar was visiting Toronto from Jordan to see his son when he died in Monday’s attack.

“RIP Munir, you lived as a peace man, a good father to your family and mine,” according to a Facebook post from Ahmad Kamleh. “Evil took you from us, God[‘s] face will kiss you, To God we Belong and to him we return.”

Mr Kamleh, who self-identifies on Facebook as a native of East Jerusalem and the chief executive officer of a chemical-distribution company called Technochem Corp., wrote on Tuesday that he hoped God would give Mr Najjar a "better home” and that “the hate that took you from us will give us enough love.”

Jordan's embassy in Ottawa is in contact with Najjar's family, according to state-run news agency Petra. No other information about Najjar was released.