Nathaniel Veltman, the guy accused of mowing down a Muslim family with his pick-up truck in a hate-motivated crime in Canada appeared briefly before a court on Thursday and is expected back early next week, according to Zoom.
Nathaniel Veltman, 20, was detained on Sunday at a mall parking lot near the city’s oldest mosque in London, Ontario. According to authorities, he was wearing an armor vest and a helmet at the time.
Veltman faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder when he next appears in court on Monday.
Nathaniel was not known to have ties to any hate organizations, according to police, but they said they were still looking into it and that terror charges were being explored.
To ensure the integrity of the court process, London police chief Steve Williams informed the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that little information is made public.
“We have to be protective of the information to ensure that the court process goes untainted by anything we do or say right now,” Williams said.
When a vehicle ran them over as they were out on an evening stroll near their house, four members of one family, spanning three generations, were killed.
Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman, and her 74-year-old grandma Talat Afzaal were among the deceased, according to relatives. Fayez, the couple’s nine-year-old son, was critically injured but is expected to survive.
“The front part of the pick-up truck was severely damaged” and was stained with blood, said Hasan Savehilaghi, president of a taxi firm, recounting details provided by one of his drivers who was at the scene of the arrest.
Savehilaghi said the guy was shouting as he was pulled from his vehicle by police, but his words were unclear. The cab driver was urged upon by Veltman to record the arrest.
The cab driver was urged upon by Nathaniel to record the arrest. “He was enjoying the scene, like it was important for him to be recorded,” said Savehilaghi.
The deaths were dubbed a “terrorist attack” by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, who pledged to crack down on far-right organizations and internet hatred.
“It was with utmost shock and horror that I came to hear of the unspeakable crime committed last weekend,” said Mark Veltman, the accused attacker’s father, in an email on Thursday.
Only some information regarding Veltman’s life have been revealed.
In Strathroy, Ontario, near London, Nathaniel worked part-time in an egg-packing business. The London Free Press stated that his neighbors at his central London flat stated he could frequently be heard playing video games at loud intensity late at night. Between Toronto and Detroit, London is around midway.
The assault on Sunday was the deadliest against Canadian Muslims since a man murdered six people at a mosque in Quebec City in 2017.
Meanwhile, with 57 members, the world’s biggest organization of Muslim-majority countries strongly denounced what it called “the heinous terrorist run-over perpetrated by an extremist” on a Muslim family in Canada.
Anti-Muslim hostility is rising in many countries where Muslims are a minority, according to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which has urged on authorities to take the required preventative steps. The OIC reiterated its demand for the United Nations and other world entities to establish March 15 as a day against Islamophobia and intolerance of Muslims in a statement released on Thursday.