A man accused of mowing down five members of the same family with a black pickup truck in an Ontario city on Sunday, killing four and seriously injuring a 9-year-old boy, targeted them because they were Muslim, police said Monday, in what the city’s mayor branded an act of “mass murder,” Report informs, citing the
Police said the victims, who were struck while waiting to cross an intersection on a warm and clear Sunday evening in London, Ontario, included a 74-year-old woman, a 46-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman, and a 15-year-old girl. The 9-year-old boy is in the hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.
Police said family members had requested that their names not be released.
“Based on information collected during the course of the investigation, we believe that this was an intentional act and that the victims of this horrific incident were targeted,” London Police Chief Steve Williams told reporters on Monday. “We believe the victims were targeted because of their Islamic faith.”
Police on Sunday arrested the suspect, Nathaniel Veltman, in a mall parking lot four miles from where the attack occurred, “wearing a vest that appeared to be like body armor.” The 20-year-old was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.