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Ryerson business grad dead after north Toronto van rampage

By Justin Chandler

One of the 10 people killed in Monday’s van rampage on Yonge Street was a Ryerson graduate, who will be remembered in part for her involvement in the university’s business community.

Anne Marie D’Amico was the first victim of the rampage to be publicly identified.  She died when a van ran down pedestrians on Yonge Street between Finch and Sheppard avenues on April 23.

Calling D’Amico “a very active student leader,” Abdullah Snobar, the executive director of the DMZ at Ryerson, told The Eyeopener her death is a huge loss. The DMZ provides space, resources and training to people with developing businesses.

Snobar used to oversee Ryerson business student groups and said D’Amico was also very involved with organizing clubs and attending multiple events. He said she was popular and had a lot of friends.

D’Amico was “one of the most outgoing and positive people we ever connected to,” Snobar said.

A statement released today on behalf of Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi extends the community’s condolences to D’Amico’s loved ones.

The statement also said a second alumna and a Ryerson contract lecturer were injured in the attack, but they were not named. Since then, another victim has been identified as Amir Kiumarsi, who is a chief steward in CUPE 3904, the union representing contract academics at Ryerson. He teaches chemistry at the university.

Snobar said he found out D’Amico had died while returning from work on Monday.

“[Ryerson alumni] were all devastated to begin with, just on the basis that [an attack] happened in a city like ours, but just to hear that it was an individual like Anne-Marie was a huge blow,” he said.

Snobar said D’Amico was a business management student majoring in accounting and finance who graduated in 2010.

Ryerson would not confirm her enrolment with The Eye, but said in a statement that she graduated from Ted Rogers School of Management.

Before she died, D’Amico worked at U.S. investment firm Invesco. Her office was near Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue, close to where the incident occured.

Today, prosecutors charged the suspected driver, 25-year-old Alek Minassian, with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder. 

In the aftermath of the attack, Snobar says Toronto has to stay strong.

“This is a great time for us to come together and support one another. Ryerson as a university has a very tight-knit alumni community. There’s no better time than the present to remember one another and support each other in these hard times.”

In the Ryerson statement, Lachemi encourages students in need of support to seek help from Ryerson’s counseling services and for alumni to get help from the school’s employee assistance program.

Police and city officials have released a list of numbers people can call should they have information about the attack, be a victim of it, or be concerned about a loved one.

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