Cops: Pickup Driver Killed 4 Muslims in Targeted Attack

London, Ontario, mayor says Sunday night attack was 'rooted in unspeakable hatred'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2021 6:15 PM CDT
Cops: Pickup Driver Killed 4 Muslims in Targeted Attack
London Police investigate the scene of a car crash in London, Ontario on Monday, June 7, 2021.   (Geoff Robins/The Canadian Press via AP)

The mayor of London, Ontario, says a vehicle attack Sunday night was "rooted in unspeakable hatred." Police in the Canadian city say a man deliberately drove his pickup truck into a Muslim family of five as they waited to cross a road, killing four of them and seriously injuring the only survivor, a 9-year-old boy. Police say the family members killed were a 74-year-old woman, a 46-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman, and a 15-year-old girl, the CBC reports. A 20-year-old man was arrested around four miles away. "This was an act of mass murder perpetuated against Muslims," Mayor Ed Holder said. "The magnitude of such hatred can make one question who we were as a city."

"In one act of murder some individual has wiped out three generations of family. It's horrific," Holder tells the AP. Police say they believe the driver, Nathanial Veltman, targeted the victims in a premeditated act because of their Islamic faith, reports the London Free Press. He has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and authorities say terrorism charges are also possible. Police say Veltman, who was wearing body armor when he was arrested had no connection to the victims and it's not clear whether he belongs to any extremist groups. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was horrified by the attack. "To the Muslim community in London and to Muslims across the country, know that we stand with you," he tweeted. "Islamophobia has no place in any of our communities." (More Canada stories.)

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