Canada What we know about the accused in the fatal attack on a Muslim family in London, Ont.
The latest news developments on the fatal attack in London, Ont.
The latest news on the vehicle attack in London, Ont., that killed four members of a Muslim family and seriously injured a nine-year-old boy on Sunday (all times eastern): --- 9 p.m. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole says reports that a vehicle attack that killed four people in London, Ont., was motivated by the fact the victims were Muslim is "horrific and heartbreaking." In a series of social media posts, O'Toole expressed his deepest---
The man facing murder charges in the truck attack of a Muslim family in London, Ont., has left no traces on social media about his life, but a neighbour who spoke to CBC News said while the 20-year-old kept to himself, he'd have frequent and noisy gatherings in his downtown apartment.
Details about Nathaniel Veltman are difficult to piece together. It's known, however, that he was living in an apartment in downtown London and has ties to Strathroy, a small community in the heart of southwestern Ontario farm country.
Muslim family ID'd in fatal truck attack in London, Ont., known for commitment to community
The Muslim family identified as the victims of a hit and run Sunday in what police are calling a hate-motivated attack in London, Ont., were deeply involved in the community and committed to their faith, friends and family say. Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Afzaal and Salman Afzaal's 74-year-old mother were killed after a black truck slammed into them as they took an evening walk. The victims' names were confirmed to CBC News by family members. CBC has not been able to confirm the name of Salman Afzaal's mother.
He's currently in a cell at the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre, charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder after what police are calling a hate-motivated, anti-Muslim crime. Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, their daughter Yumna Afzaal, 15, and Salman's mother, Talat Afzaal, 74, are dead. Nine-year-old Fayez survived and remains in hospital.
Mike Arntfield, a former London police officer who's now an associate professor in criminology at Western University, says the case is unusual because people linked to such killings tend to leave "digital legacies" and a "trail of hatred online that clearly points to a certain disposition, a certain set of motivations or ideologies."
‘A racist city that pretends it isn’t’: London, Ont. attack didn’t happen in vacuum, residents say
'The next day, I thought, you know what, I'm not going out with my son -- because I was afraid,' said one member of London's Muslim community.The only survivor -- a nine-year-old boy -- was seriously injured.
"This guy is a ghost," the criminologist said about the accused in the truck attack.
"Conventional Internet search engines reveal basically nothing [about him], other than this story."
Arrested near the attack scene
Police say Veltman was arrested in the parking lot of a shopping mall, about 10 minutes afterin the northwest part of the city.
Little is known about Veltman's childhood. He attended Strathroy District Collegiate Institute and then Fanshawe College in London.
At the time of his arrest, he had been working part time at Gray Ridge Egg Farms in Strathroy.
Police have been stationed all week outside the lowrise apartment building where Veltman lives.
One of the accused's neighbours told CBC that Veltman often played video games late into the night.
Sask. Muslim community in 'undeniable shock and horror' after Ontario attack
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses a crowd in London, Ont., Tuesday evening at a vigil in honour of the Muslim family killed in what police say was a premeditated attack.
Video: Muslim family targeted in fatal London, Ont., attack (cbc.ca)
The neighbour, who CBC agreed not to name to protect her privacy, said she recently heard banging coming from inside Veltman's apartment at 3 a.m., so knocked on his door, asked him to be quiet and reminded him it's a family building.
"He couldn't keep a straight eye contact with you," the neighbour said.
"That's when I was first, like, 'OK, I've got someone unstable living beside me. Next time, let's not go to the door. Let's call [the police], if anything,' because, you know, I don't want to interact with someone like that."
Police say Veltman was wearing something similar to body armour when they arrested him late Sunday.
The neighbour who spoke to CBC said she never heard him utter anything anti-Muslim, but still, "something was unusual about him."
She said he always had people inside his apartment and there was constant noise.
"Just banging in general and banging on the walls to the point my pictures are moving. If not that, loud music, video games — it was just intense."
'Something has gone terribly wrong in this country': Members of Ottawa's Muslim community react to London attack
Members of Ottawa’s Muslim community feel wounded, angry and in some cases fearful in the wake of the hate-inspired killings of four Muslim family members and the serious injury of another, a nine-year-old boy, in London, Ont., on Sunday. Amira Elghawaby, a human-rights advocate and founding board member of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, says hate or “message” crimes like the one in London are clear in their purpose. “It’s not going to be Amira Elghawaby, a human-rights advocate and founding board member of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, says hate or “message” crimes like the one in London are clear in their purpose.
Neighbour shocked to hear of arrest
She said she was shocked to learn of the charges Veltman now faces.
"Someone like that was beside me, and it's just unsettling knowing that someone like that is in a family building."
Several Veltmans live in Strathroy.
At one Veltman family home in the small town, the curtains were immediately shut when a CBC News reporter rang the doorbell.
At another Veltman address off a long country road in Strathroy, a "no trespassing" sign had been placed near a driveway leading to the property. A neighbour watched through her front window as journalists stopped throughout the day on Tuesday, the same day thousands of people, including politicians,.
Locals who spoke to CBC said they were surprised to hear the suspect in the attack on the London family was from Strathroy.
A mass murder is defined as four or more deaths in a single incident, said Arntfield. A suspect arrested while wearing body armour could indicate the individual fits into the "pseudo-commando" subtype, he added.
"Regardless of motive, this subtype has a fascination with gadgets, and police and army paraphernelia, they see themselves as a collector with some kind of end game in mind," said Arntfield. Pseudo-commandos tend to be young, he added.
In the first mass murder in London's history, a central question in the case will be why the family may have been targeted for their faith, as police believe, he said. The accused isn't currently being linked to any extremist group, while police are considering whether to lay terror charges.
Arntfield added: "If the suspect does lean toward certain ideologies, do they align with an existing group or have those groups merely imparted some world view on him that he's sort of created his customized version of?"
Edmonton's Muslim community hold prayer for victims of London, Ont., attack .
Shock waves from Sunday’s suspected hate-motivated fatal attack on a London, Ont. family could be felt in Edmonton Wednesday night as members of the Muslim community and supporters gathered to pray. A special group prayer and funeral ritual prayer took place in the grassy area on the south side of the Alberta legislature grounds. Despite the rain, about 300 people gathered outside the bandshell around 8 p.m. Nader Hallak said he wanted everyone to know what the Afzaal family was like. He knew them from his time as a student in London.