Four Muslim family members killed in Canada in attack “Premeditated” by a man who ran into them behind the wheel of his pick-up, a “Horrible act of Islamophobia” according to Ottawa. This drama, which caused great emotion, is the deadliest anti-Muslim attack in Canada since the shooting at the Quebec mosque which killed six people in 2017.
→ IN 2017. Canada: murderous attack in a mosque in Quebec
At around 8:40 p.m. Sunday, June 6, police said the five family members were waiting to cross a crossroads when a black pickup truck “Got on the sidewalk and hit them.” The names of the victims were not disclosed, but they are a 74-year-old woman, a 46-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl, representing three generations of one family, said London Mayor Ed Holder. They are believed to be from Pakistan, according to local media.
A nine-year-old boy from the same family was also hospitalized in serious condition following the attack, which took place Sunday evening in the city of London, 200 km southwest of Toronto.
Victims targeted because they are Muslims
The suspect, Nathaniel Veltman, 20, fled after the fact, but was quickly arrested 7 km from the scene of the tragedy and was charged Monday June 7 with four premeditated murders and one attempted murder. The police do not rule out adding “Possible accusations of terrorism” against him.
“There is evidence that this was a premeditated and planned act, motivated by hate. We believe that the victims were targeted because they were Muslims ”, City of London Police Investigator Paul Waight said. The man has no criminal record and no known affiliation with a specific group, police said. He was wearing a vest resembling a bulletproof vest when he was arrested.
“This attack must be treated as a terrorist”
“This is an event that must be described as a horrific act of Islamophobia”, the Minister of Public Safety, Bill Blair, reacted in the evening. “This mass killing, and other similar attacks, has the effect of terrorizing a targeted community and causing people to fear that their family may be next,” he added. No one should ever have to live this way. “
→ READ. In Quebec, the attack on the mosque has left its mark
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said to himself “Horrified”. “To the loved ones of people terrorized by yesterday’s act of hatred, we are here for you. Islamophobia has no place in any of our communities. This hatred is insidious and contemptible – and it must stop ”, the head of government tweeted.
For its part, the National Council of Canadian Muslims says “More than horrified and calls for justice after the horrific hate-motivated car attack on a Muslim family in London, Ont., Who were out for a walk on Sunday night.”
“This is a terrorist attack on Canadian soil and must be treated as such”, declared its president, Mustafa Farooq. The Muslim Association of Canada also called on the authorities to consider “This horrible attack as an act of hatred and terrorism”.
Memory of the Quebec attack
The attack brought back painful memories of a mass shooting that left six dead and five injured in a Quebec mosque in January 2017, considered one of the worst attacks of its kind in a Western country, before that of Christchurch , New Zealand, in 2019.
The shooter, a Canadian supremacist, Alexandre Bissonnette, was sentenced to life in prison, but the safety period prohibiting his parole has since been reduced to 25 years, instead of 40 initially.