By Annisa Essack
A nine-year-old boy is the only survivor of a hit-and-run in London, Ontario, Canada, in what police believe was a targeted attack on a Muslim family of five.
A 20-year-old man was charged Monday with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in a hit-and-run Sunday involving a pick-up truck. At a news conference, Det.-Insp. Paul Waight said terrorism charges are also possible against Nathanial Veltman appeared in court via video link Monday afternoon.
Waight says there is evidence that this was a planned, deliberate act and that the family was targeted because of their Muslim faith. It has not been ascertained yet if the accused was affiliated with any specific hate group.
The vehicle struck the family on Sunday evening as they walked along Hyde Park Road in northwest London, Ontario.
The family members’ names have not been officially released. They include a 74-year-old woman, a 46-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl. A nine-year-old boy remains in hospital with serious injuries.
London Mayor Ed Holder offered his condolences to the family and the city’s Muslim community.