Canadian prosecutors have brought terrorism charges against a 20-year-old man accused of killing four Muslim family members and severely injuring a fifth last week in a hit-and-run incident in London, Ont.
Nathaniel Veltman was originally charged June 7 with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder but the charges on Monday were upgraded to terrorism offenses under section 83 of the Criminal Code, the London Police Service said in a statement.
Across the NHL, we grieve for the victims of the hate-filled attack on a Muslim family in London, Ont, where four lives were senselessly and tragically taken because of their faith. Our hearts are with all those affected, and we join the hockey community in standing against hate. pic.twitter.com/e4nRZ4tmyf— NHL (@NHL) June 8, 2021
"The London Police Service worked in conjunction with RCMP INSET, the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, determining that the murders constitute terrorist activity," The London Police Service said.
"As a result, the Federal and Provincial Attorneys General provided their consent to commence terrorism proceedings, alleging that the murders and the attempted murder also constitute terrorist activity," the authorities said.
Veltman appeared in court on Monday to face the upgraded charges for the killing of four family members out for a walk the night of June 6.
Police said the family of five was waiting to cross a street at an intersection when they were struck by a black pickup truck that had jumped the curb to do so at about 8:40 p.m. before speeding away.
"How can we look families in the eye and say 'Islamophobia isn't real'?"— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) June 8, 2021
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau decries Islamophobia in Canadian society after truck attack kills Muslim family https://t.co/t7nuxznjJ2 pic.twitter.com/8IzD64V4Un
The victims have since be identified as Salman Afzaal, 46; his wife, Madiha Salman, 44; their daughter, Yumna Salman, 15; and Salman Afzaal's 74-year-old mother, Talat Afzaal.
Fayez Afzaal, 9, the only survivor from the attack, has since been released from hospital and is expected to recover, the CBC reported.
A funeral for the Afzaal family was held Saturday at the Islamic Center of Southwest Ontario.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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