The 20-year-old man accused of killing a Muslim family in a truck attack in London, Ont., will have his next court appearance today. Nathaniel Veltman, 20, was charged with four charges of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder earlier this week. Because of COVID-19 constraints, his hearing on Thursday will be televised.
A family of five was out for an evening walk in northwest London on Sunday when a black truck veered off the road and crashed into them as they waited to cross the street at a red signal. Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Afzaal, 44, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Afzaal, and Salman’s mother, Talat Afzaal, 74, were all killed. Fayez, the family’s youngest member, was saved and is still in the hospital. The family was targeted because of their Muslim faith, according to police, who are in contact with RCMP and prosecutors about the possibility of Veltman being charged with terrorism.
Veltman has been held at the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre since his arrest less than 10 kilometers from the crime scene. He did not have a lawyer for his initial court appearance on Monday but was represented by duty counsel. A justice of the peace issued a no-contact order between Veltman and two dozen people at the time, including spectators.
This is the city’s first mass murder in its history in southwestern Ontario.