Crossbow suspect alleged to have killed mother, brothers

TORONTO (AP) — A man who allegedly used a crossbow in a triple homicide in Toronto last week killed his mother and two brothers, according to police.

A judge lifted a publication ban on the identities of the victims Tuesday and court records show the people killed in last Thursday’s attack were Susan, Alexander and Christopher Ryan. Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash confirmed the victims were Brett Ryan’s mother and brothers.

Ryan, 35, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

Police say the mother died from ligature strangulation, while one of the men died from a crossbow bolt wound to the neck and the other from a single arrowhead wound to the neck.

Authorities would not say whether the fatal wounds came from the crossbow being fired or from manual stabbings.

Police have released few details about the killings or what might have motivated them. The lead detective in the case asked for the public’s help on Tuesday, requesting anyone who had contact with Ryan on Thursday morning to contact him.

Ryan lived in an upscale waterfront condo that was evacuated last Thursday after police responded to a report of a suspicious package at about the same time they were dealing with the east-end home killings. The two incidents were related, police said, though they offered no details on the link.

In 2008, Ryan was arrested in the case of the Fake Beard Bandit, and charged with numerous counts including robbery, wearing a disguise, and weapons charges. The charges related to a string of bank robberies in Toronto and the nearby region of Durham in which a man showed a teller a note indicating he was armed and demanded cash. In that case, Ryan was arrested after going into a bank wearing a false beard and carrying pepper spray, police said at the time. It was not immediately clear what became of the charges.

Social media profiles show that Ryan 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 crossbow killings shocked the otherwise tranquil, tree-lined neighborhood as police cordoned off the immediate area.

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