A 20-year-old man intentionally slammed his truck on a family of five waiting at an intersection, killing four and leaving one injured.
According to the police, a Muslim family in Canada was waiting at an intersection in London, when a driver hit the curb intentionally charging a big truck on the family members. Police have recognized the attack as a premeditated act labeling it as a hate crime.
The detective superintendent of the London Police, Paul Waight stated that “there is evidence that this was a planned, premeditated act, motivated by hate. It is believed that these victims were targeted because they were Muslim”
No previous connection or interaction between the victims and suspects came out in the investigation.
According to the reports, an elderly woman aged 74 died on the spot while the other four members of the family; a 46-year-old man, his wife aged 44, a 15-year-old teenage daughter, and a minor boy (9 years) were shifted to the hospital by the paramedic staff. The two adults and the teenager succumbed to their injuries and took their last breath in the hospital while the boy is under intensive care as his condition is said to be serious.
The family members of the victims have asked to maintain the anonymity of the victims but as per sources, the family’s origin was Pakistan.
The 20-year-old suspect Nathaniel Veltman was later arrested from a parking lot of a nearby mall. The detective superintendent of London police stated that the eyewitnesses exclaimed that the family was out for a walk and were at the intersection when a black pickup truck mounted the curb and barged over them, giving them no time to save themselves.
London is a populous city in the southwestern side of Ontario and has 385,000 people. The London police chief Steve Williams stated that “there is no tolerance in this community for individuals who, motivated by hate, target others with violence” he ensured the Muslim community especially the Londoners to stay calm and extended the London police’s support to them. He said this might cause anxiety and fear among the community but this does not define the people of London.
The Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau extended his condolences and grief over the brutal attack. He issued a statement stating that he was horrified by the attack.
Justin Trudeau tweeted that he and the people of Canada are standing with the family who came under attack in London and are praying for the quick recovery of the boy who is in the hospital. He further said the Muslim community in London and rest of the Canada should have no fear of such individuals. This does not define Canada. Islamophobia has no place in our communities and this must stop.
London city’s mayor Ed Holder stated that “this was an act of mass murder, perpetrated against Muslims, against Londoners, and rooted in unspeakable hatred”. He said the whole of London grieves for the family who lost three generations today.
A London lawyer Nawaz Tahir who is also a representative of the Muslim community stated at the police conference held by the police that there were innocent human beings who lost their lives just because of their faith. He said that all of the Canadians stand strong against Islamophobia and they all will continue to fight against terror with love and justice.
The flags outside the city hall of London will be lowered for three days of mourning.
The 20-year-old attacker has been charged with four counts of murder along with one count of attempted murder. This is known to be the worst attack against the Muslims in the country since 2017 when six people were killed in a Quebec City mosque.
Police have termed it as a hate crime but exclaimed that terrorism charges will be added to the case.