Man Who Fatally Plowed Into Muslim Family Learns His Fate

Canadian man killed 4 members of family, seriously injured the 5th
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2021 1:55 AM CDT
Updated Feb 23, 2024 2:00 AM CST
After Muslim Family Killed, Trudeau Vows to 'Dismantle' Hate Groups
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lays flowers at a vigil outside the London Muslim Mosque for the victims of the deadly vehicle attack on five members of the Canadian Muslim community in London, Ontario, on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.   (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
UPDATE Feb 23, 2024 2:00 AM CST

The man who plowed into a Muslim family out on their evening walk in Ontario, Canada, in 2021 was on Thursday sentenced to life in prison for killing four members of the family and seriously injuring a fifth. Nathaniel Veltman, 23, was convicted of four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in November, the AP reports. "The offender did not know the victims. He had never met them. He killed them because they were Muslim," said the justice delivering the sentence. "It is an inescapable conclusion that the offender committed a terrorist act. One might go so far as to characterize this as a textbook example of terrorist motive and intent."

Jun 9, 2021 1:55 AM CDT

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged Tuesday to take more action "to dismantle far-right hate groups" after three generations of a Muslim family were killed Sunday night in an apparently targeted attack. "This was a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred, in the heart of one of our communities," the PM said while speaking before Parliament. Salman Afzal, 46; his wife Madiha, 44; their daughter Yumna, 15; and a 74-year-old grandmother whose name was not released; were killed during their evening walk when a pickup truck plowed into them. The couple's 9-year-old son was injured and remains hospitalized, but is expected to survive, Reuters reports. The family immigrated to Canada 14 years ago, the AP reports.

"If anyone thinks racism and hatred don't exist in this country, I want to say this: How do we explain such violence to a child in a hospital?" Trudeau continued. "How can we look families in the eye and say 'Islamophobia isn't real'?" Later Tuesday, he attended a vigil for the family outside their mosque. Suspect Nathaniel Veltman, 20, faces four counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, and terrorism charges are also possible. Authorities say the attack was planned, but Veltman did not know the victims. It's also not yet clear whether he was a member of any specific hate groups. (More Canada stories.)

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