The victims of a crossbow-related attack that shocked a quiet neighbourhood in east-end Toronto last week have been identified as the mother and two brothers of the man accused in their deaths, according to police.
Toronto police Const. Victor Kwong identified the deceased Tuesday as Susan Ryan, 66, Christopher Ryan, 42, and Alexander Ryan, 29, and said they are directly related to 35-year-old triple homicide suspect Brett Ryan.
Police responded to a call for a stabbing just before 1 p.m. Thursday at 10 Lawndale Road, near Argo Road in the Eglinton Avenue East and Markham Road area of Scarborough.
Investigators discovered a crossbow at the scene and said Monday Susan Ryan died by ligature strangulation, while Christopher and Alexander Ryan were found nearby with fatal stab wounds to the neck from a crossbow bolt and an arrowhead.
Brett Ryan, once dubbed the “Fake Beard Bandit” by police in connection with a string of bank robberies in 2008, was arrested at the scene, treated in hospital for undisclosed injuries and charged with three counts of first-degree murder Thursday.
Det.-Sgt. Mike Carbone said Monday police “located the lifeless bodies of three individuals” at the scene, adding that the woman and one of the men were located in a standalone garage next to the home and another man was located on the driveway near the garage.
Property records show the home where the incident happened is listed in the name of Susan Ryan. She previously co-owned the home with William Ryan, who records show died last year.
Carbone said the woman died from ligature strangulation and the two male victims found nearby were fatally stabbed in the neck with a crossbow bolt and an arrowhead in what he described as an “unusual” incident.
He added that autopsies were performed on the bodies Friday and Saturday and a male witness who was “in close proximity to the scene” was also taken to hospital and treated for undisclosed injuries.
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Carbone said the triple homicide is also connected to a “secondary scene” at a downtown Toronto condominium where Brett Ryan lived, after a suspicious package was located Thursday afternoon. Police secured the scene Thursday evening and Carbone said there was no “danger to any member of the public.”
A spokeswoman for the University of Toronto confirmed to Global News Tuesday that Brett Ryan was a student at the school, but declined to provide further details.
Toronto Transit Commission spokesman Brad Ross said on Twitter Christopher Ryan was a 12-year veteran of the TTC as a station collector and the organization will lower its flags to half-mast Tuesday in his memory.
Social media profiles show the accused was engaged to a registered physiotherapist. They were to be married in Hamilton on Sept. 16
The couple, according to their registry page, met three years ago on a blind date in downtown Toronto. The woman was not among those involved in the bloody incident.
Ryan’s next court appearance is scheduled for Friday. He was charged in 2008 with a total of 29 counts of robbery, intent to commit a crime while disguised, and a weapons offence.
In January 2009, he pleaded guilty to eight counts each of robbery and intent to commit an indictable offence while disguised. The remaining counts were withdrawn.
Ryan was sentenced to 45 months in prison – less seven months for pre-trial custody. The court also imposed a lifetime weapons ban.
Investigators are appealing for anyone with information or who had contact with Ryan from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. ET Thursday to contact police at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously.
With files from The Canadian Press