Reuters International

People watch from their front door as police stand at a crime scene where three pople have died in an incident involving a crossbow, according to local media reports in the Scarborough suburb of Toronto, August 25, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Blinch


TORONTO (Reuters) - A Toronto bank robber known as the "fake beard bandit" was charged with three counts of first-degree murder after three people were killed in a crossbow attack in the city's east end, police in Canada's largest city said on Friday.

Brett Ryan, 35, who appeared in court briefly on Friday, was arrested in 2008 for committing robberies in disguise, police said. He was charged with more than a dozen counts of robbery and later convicted.

Two men and a woman died in the driveway of a house on Thursday.

One of the people who was killed made a 911 emergency call before dying, according to a local newspaper report, which said the suspect had also been wounded.

The police have not offered a reason for the killings nor have they identified the victims.

Property records showed that the house where the three killed was in the name of Susan and William Ryan, 66 and 65 years old, respectively. William Ryan died last year, local media reported.

Brett Ryan had lived at the same house as Susan and William Ryan, according to government records that indicated bankruptcy proceedings had been initiated for him in 2010.

He was jailed for three years and nine months in the bank robbery cases, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

His lawyer, G.J. Partington, declined to comment.

Ryan's next scheduled court appearance is Sept. 2.

In another incident on Thursday that police said was related to the killings, police evacuated a downtown building due to a suspicious package. They gave no details on how the cases were related.

(Reporting by Ethan Lou in Toronto; Editing by Dan Grebler)


 Reuters International