Barefoot man steals snow plow, kills cop
January 12th, 2011
01:55 PM ET

Barefoot man steals snow plow, kills cop

A man took a stolen snow plow on two-hour rampage through the streets of Toronto, Canada, Wednesday morning, killing a police officer and wrecking cars and a car dealership.

Police said the suspect stole the privately owned plow in downtown Toronto about 5:30 a.m., according to a report from CTV news.

Police Sgt. Ryan Russell, 35, was struck by the plow and pinned against his cruiser when he tried to stop the truck about a half-hour later, according to news reports. He died in a hospital emergency room.

The suspect hit numerous vehicles as he continued through the city’s streets for another half-hour or more, and rammed the plow into a Ferrari dealership, according to news reports.

Just after 7 a.m. the plow came to a stop after hitting a garbage truck, according to news reports. Officers approached the plow and opened fire, gravely wounding the suspect. He was in critical condition at a hospital, CTV reported.

According to a report in the Toronto Star, the plow company employees were working outside their vehicle when the suspect – a “guy with no shoes” – jumped in and sped off.

“He was barefoot and just came running and jumped in,” plow company President Peter Tolias told the Star. Officials have not released the suspect’s identity and have not speculated on a motive.

The fallen officer was an 11-year veteran of the Toronto force.

"This is the worst of days for the Toronto Police Service," Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair was quoted as saying.

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Filed under: Canada
soundoff (343 Responses)
  1. living in canada

    Sad... Nothing good ever happens in Toronto, just like the crazy protests that happened last year.

    January 12, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. fail

    I thought canada was an american state?

    January 12, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. em

    my thoughts and prayers go out to the fallen officers family!!!!

    January 12, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Stacie

    My sincere condolences to the officer's wife, child, and family.

    For those who have taken notice of the insensitive and immature comments, do not fret. They are what internet-savvy folk call "trolls" and should be treated thus: ignore them. They thrive on attention, and wither in neglect.

    January 12, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dike

    it is an incomplete story.. till the persons motive is known... you cant speculate. being barefooted in the snow is crazy enough.. who knows maybe he jumped into the truck for heat and things happened... you cant feel your frozen feet. need full story to turn your hatred or biases on.....

    January 12, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sandra22

    I have read many of the post. Some of you people are very heartless. my thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the officer and the family of the man that killed the officer. If the man is mentally disturbed He needs help. If there is another reason like malisiosus intent. thats another story. Since no one knows why the man did what he did. Why was he bare foot in the snow like that why did he take the plow. did he intend to kill the officer or was it a accident. Seems to me we dont have all the facts. Some of you people are heartless. This a very tragic thing to happen and for anyone to make a joke about it is heartless.

    January 12, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Carlos

    May he fine peace in the after life. Messed up way to go out man. My respects to his family.

    January 12, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Toronto Citizen

    I am really put off by some of the comments here. What the hell is trolling got to do with asking if the police were especially brutal during this mans arrest? Were they? What justifies shooting him? The replies were "he just killed a cop" when that is false, the officer did not die until hours later. They did not know he was going to die. They probably knew he was injured and was that why the man was shot? If so then that is police brutality.

    Was the officer who was killed shooting at the plow? If so it is self defence. Should he simply sit there and be killed?

    Much of this will come out and I expect that if the dead cop was shooting then there is no way this guy gets a 2nd degree murder conviction.

    Better to review police practices in stopping stolen pick up trucks. This "hero" made a fatal mistake that should not be repeated by other "heroes".

    Naturally this story is played up by law and order types who want the police to have the right to kill people at their sole discretion. This time the police lose. When offset with the number of people the police routinely kill for no better reason than they want to, it does not sway me to feel sorry for this one. Not a single bit. His family I can feel for, but even then.. you married a cop and had a baby with one and did not expect this day to come? Seriously?

    Cry me a river. And that isn't trolling. It is expressing a viewpoint which is the purpose of these comment sections.

    January 12, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • sandra22

      wow really just becouse she married a cop and had a child with him doesnt mean they dont deserve compasion. Im sure she expected it to happen. Probally cringed every time the phone rang or there was a knock on the door when her husband was on duty. So im sure she expected it but probally hoped it never would. so have some compasison

      January 12, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alana

      223 RCMP have died in the line of duty since the 1870s. Yet the wife should have expected this day?

      Your entire comment is ridiculous and really not worth replying too.

      January 12, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rasmus

    Hope this barefoot idiot dies a slow painful death and will never be mentioned by name again. RIP Officer.

    January 12, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • sandra22

      we should never hope that someone suffers. i feel for the officers family and all his friends im sure they will miss him terribly.

      January 12, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sandra22

    i have read some of the comments here. Wow people some of you are really heartless. A human being died leaving his family without a husband and a dad. As for the person that is laying in the hospital does anyone know why he did what he did and did he mean to kill the officer or was that part a accident. This is a tragic thing my prayers go out to both familys

    January 12, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dan

    most of you posting comments on here are complete children, ignorance only fueled by the anonymity of the internet. I'm writing from Tucson, and am glad that there didn't seem to be so much childish nonsense after our recent events. I wish civility would be the default on a discussion post relating to this sort of story, but I am constantly amazed – it seems no matter what a discussion on the internet is initially about, it quickly and predictably turns into childish and outright nasty retorts.

    January 12, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • curto

      See what most people don't comprehend is police show up after violence happens, they are the clean up crew... Unless of course they are the cause of it... Ok maybe one time in a million or more an off duty cop with a gun takes someone down.. But if you have a a gun... Well its not a big deal is it.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aussie oioi

      Did the man have a weapon or did they shoot him in revenge for hitting their friend with the plow?

      January 13, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Reid

      to Aussie: in Canada, if someone owns or steals a vehicle, and uses the vehicle to try and run someone over, or even just to intimidate them, it is considered to be a deadly weapon, just like a gun. In this case, he killed a person, whether its a cop or not, they are required by law to stop the maniac before anyone else gets hurt or killed, if that means shooting him, why not, and they did it without killing the guy.
      In my city of Winnipeg, Canada, a 16 year old lunged at a couple of police officers, who were pursuing him after a robbery, with a screw driver, not much of a deadly weapon, right? Well the cops shot and killed the boy when they easily could have tasered him, but they were still within their means, they felt their lives were threated and they acted with deadly force. In short, if you got One on One with police with a weapon, do as they say, or face the consequences.

      January 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. From Toronto

    A police officer – 35 years old and the father of a 2 year old – died today doing his job. This is not a time to make jokes or argue about what country is better. The suspect was driving erratically and putting civilians on the road at risk. Had it been later in the morning rush hour, there could have been more injuries and fatalities. Sgt. Russell was killed doing his job, trying to save others, and we should all send our respects to his family and to the Toronto police force who lost one of their friends today. God bless Sgt. Russell, and to all who have chosen this article to make jokes and be generally insensitive, shame on you.

    January 12, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Monica

    Wow Canadian Police are so much healthier and thinner looking.

    Why does CNN refer to Canadian cities, like City name, Canada, or Canada as a whole.

    It would be like Canadian news site refering to Henderson NV, has Henderson USA

    It should be Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    January 12, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anglo Quebecker

      Do you refer to Sidney, NSW, Australia or just plain Sidney, Australia? Most Americans don't even know what Canadian provinces are....

      January 12, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dover

      or care.

      January 12, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • k

      Canada has only 1 city? Who know? I know they only have one highway. Learned that one on South Park 🙂

      January 12, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stinky Britches

      It's Sydney, NSW, Australia NOT Sidney. You are an embarrassment to us Canadians living outside the motherland.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • curto

      That's because Ontario treats there people like dirt.

      January 12, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alana


      You should consider not using South Park to obtain your information about other Countries. Canada has more then one highway. And more then one city too! Amazing, isn't it?!

      January 12, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • EM

      ... or know what U.S. states are ...

      January 12, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • huxley

      They report CANADA as a whole because most AMERICANS don't have a clue what is beyond the border into CANADA. Most don't know about the state next to them. they were never schooled .Alot have never left their state and we know how small that is.I travel the south alot and love the people Itold one that I was from TORONTO and she asked if I new BRENDA. NO KIDDING.

      January 13, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. RB

    The last time a police officer was killed in the line of duty in Toronto was in 2002. Toronto has a population of 4 million. The police officers in Toronto are the best in world! One of the safest cities to raise a family because of the great work done by our law enforcement! Sad day for the officer and his family who was killed in the line of duty trying to protect people at the beginning of rush hour traffic. My condolences to the family and friends of this fine officer who lost his life today protecting the citizens he took an oath to do!

    January 12, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flatsguide

      I think we need to ban snowplows. Especially hi-capacity snowplows! They are now being used to kill people, and that makes them evil. The NSA (National Snowplow Association) should not be allowed to lobby for less snowplow laws. We need to keep snowplows out of the hands of citizens, and this would prevent this senseless killing! I certainly hope the Brady Bunch steps in to help make snowplows illegal.

      Sounds pretty stupid doesn't it. Lets use the same voice of stupidity that the anti-gunners use!

      January 13, 2011 at 5:54 am | Report abuse |
  15. Becky

    this just sad

    January 12, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
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