20 Year Old Nathanil Veltman Kills Muslim Family In A ‘premeditated’ Vehicle Attack In Ontario Province

 20 Year Old Nathanil Veltman Kills Muslim Family In A ‘premeditated’ Vehicle Attack In Ontario Province

Four members of a Muslim family were killed in a “premeditated” vehicle attack on Sunday, Canadian police say.

The attack took place in the city of London, Ontario province. A boy aged nine, the family’s only survivor, is in hospital with serious injuries.

A 20-year-old Canadian man has been charged with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

The attack was the worst against Canadian Muslims since six people were killed in a Quebec City mosque in 2017.

“It is believed that these victims were targeted because they were Muslim,” Det Supt Paul Waight told a news conference on Monday.

Police are weighing possible terrorism charges, he said, adding that it is believed to be a hate crime.

The victims were two women – aged 74 and 44 – a 46-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl. They have not been named, in accordance with the wishes of the family. A nine-year-old boy was in hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, said police.

Police named the alleged attacker as Nathanial Veltman, 20, of London, Ontario. He was arrested without incident at a shopping centre about 6km (4.8 miles) from the crime scene.

It is not yet known if the suspect has ties to any hate groups, said Det Supt Waight.

“There is no known previous connection between the suspect and the victims,” Det Supt Waight said, adding that the suspect was wearing a vest that appeared to be “like body armour”.

Police said Mr Veltman had no previous convictions.

Officials added that there was good weather and high visibility conditions when the black truck was seen mounting the kerb on Hyde Park Road at around 20:40 local time on Sunday.

“There were people everywhere and running,” said Paige Martin. “Citizens were trying to direct the emergency vehicles where to go. There was a lot of pointing and screaming and arm waving.”

A 2016 census found that London – a city about 200km (125 miles) south-west of Toronto – is growing increasingly diverse. One in five people was born outside of Canada, with Arabs being the area’s largest minority group, and South Asians coming in a close second.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford was among those who paid tribute to the victims, tweeting: “Hate and Islamophobia have NO place in Ontario.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that he was “horrified” by the news.

“To the loved ones of those who were terrorised by yesterday’s act of hatred, we are here for you,” he wrote.

Ayomide Oyewole

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