Canadian Muslim family loses three generations in truck attack I Top Story
 
 
 
 
 
 

Canadian Muslim family loses three generations in truck attack

/ 08:44 AM June 08, 2021

Relatives of a Canadian Muslim family killed when a man rammed them with his pick-up truck on Sunday called on the wider community to stand up to racism and Islamophobia after police said the suspect had been fueled by hate.

The four family members killed were: Salman Afzaal, 46; his wife, Madiha Salman, 44; their 15-year-old daughter, Yumnah Afzaal; and Afzaal’s 74-year-old mother, whose name has not yet been released.

ADVERTISEMENT

Their 9-year-old son, Fayez Afzaal, is in hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

A 20-year-old suspect is in police custody and has been charged with murder. In a statement on Tuesday, the family contradicted the initial police appraisal that he was not a member of any hate group and had no accomplices.

FEATURED STORIES

Canadian Muslim family loses three generations in truck attack

People put up a sign at a makeshift memorial at the fatal crime scene where a man driving a pickup truck jumped the curb and ran over a Muslim family in what police say was a deliberately targeted anti-Islamic hate crime, in London, Ontario, Canada June 7, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

“The young man who committed this act of terror was influenced by a group that he associated with, and the rest of the community must take a strong stand against this,” the family said in a statement.

“We need to stand against hate and Islamophobia and raise awareness in our communities and across all the political spectrum,” it said.

Police, citing witnesses, said that 20-year-old Nathaniel Veltman, jumped the curb in his vehicle and struck five members of the family. Veltman, who had no previous criminal record, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. He is due back in court on Thursday after being remanded to custody on Monday.

Canadian Muslim family loses three generations in truck attack

Candles arranged in a heart shape are seen at a makeshift memorial at the fatal crime scene where a man driving a pickup truck jumped the curb and ran over a Muslim family in what police say was a deliberately targeted anti-Islamic hate crime, in London, Ontario, Canada June 7, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

The family called the attack brutal and horrific, and said the children had both been top students and their parents excelled in their fields.

“Everyone who knew Salman and the rest of the … family know the model family they were as Muslims, Canadians and Pakistanis. They were always there giving and participating in spreading goodness,” it said.

Canadian Muslim family loses three generations in truck attack

Misty Santerre and her daughter Jasmina react near flowers laid at the fatal crime scene where a man driving a pickup truck jumped the curb and ran over a Muslim family in what police say was a deliberately targeted anti-Islamic hate crime, in London, Ontario, Canada June 7, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

The family has declined to comment further and asked to grieve in private.

The attack was the worst against Canadian Muslims since a man gunned down six members of a Quebec City mosque in 2017. (This story refiles to remove first name Syed in second paragraph)

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by Denny Thomas and Raissa Kasolowsky)

Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
TAGS: anti-Muslim hate, racial injustice, racist attacks
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our newsletters! Get Updates right into your inbox

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.




We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.