The man said to have killed four members of a Muslim family reportedly showed no remorse when police arrived to remove him from his vehicle.
Nathaniel Veltman, 20, has been named as the alleged killer after he reportedly drove into the family in Canada with his truck, on Sunday, June 6. The incident took place in London, Ontario, and Veltman is now facing four counts of first-degree murder.
It is believed this was a targeted attack, and police are working with federal authorities to investigate potential terrorism charges. Those who were killed have since been named as Salman Afzal, 46; Madiha Afzal, 44; Yumna Afzal, 15. The 74-year-old grandmother who also died hasn’t be named, while nine-year-old Fayez Afzal remains in hospital.
The family had long been residents in Canada and are thought to have moved to the country 14 years ago, Associated Press reports.
Following the horrific ordeal, news has come to light about the Veltman’s demeanour following the attack. According to reports, a taxi driver for Yellow Taxi London was taking a coffee break outside Cherryhill Village Mall around 9.00pm, when Veltman came and parked his truck behind him in the almost-empty car park.
According to Hassan Savehilaghi, president of Yellow Taxi London who has spoken out on the driver’s behalf, Veltman was seen wearing a bullet-proof vest, a military-style helmet, and clothing that may have had swastikas on, Free Press reports.
The driver, who was out of his car smoking a cigarette, was then told by the 20-year-old to call the police because he’d just killed someone.
Veltman’s vehicle was said to be damaged and had blood on it. The driver then called the police and said he believed the car had been involved in a hit-and-run.
Police soon arrived at the scene and removed Veltman from his truck. ‘When they got him out of the vehicle, he was laughing,’ Savehilaghi said. Veltman is now facing four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
Savehilaghi has been speaking on his driver’s behalf because he’s said to be too traumatised to speak about the ordeal. He said of the cabbie, ‘He’s really traumatised. It is terrifying. You’re all by yourself.’
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has since branded the incident an ‘act of hatred’.
To the Muslim community in London and to Muslims across the country, know that we stand with you. Islamophobia has no place in any of our communities. This hate is insidious and despicable – and it must stop.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 7, 2021
He tweeted on Monday, June 7, ‘I’m horrified by the news from London, Ontario. To the loved ones of those who were terrorized by yesterday’s act of hatred, we are here for you. We are also here for the child who remains in hospital – our hearts go out to you, and you will be in our thoughts as you recover.’
He added in a separate tweet, ‘To the Muslim community in London and to Muslims across the country, know that we stand with you. Islamophobia has no place in any of our communities. This hate is insidious and despicable – and it must stop.’
As of yesterday, June 9, Veltman entered a no plea in court and none of the charges against him have gone to trial, according to Free Press.
Featured Image Credits: PA Images
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk