GoFundMe Created for 9-Year-Old Sole Survivor of Hit-and-Run on Muslim Family in Canada

A Pakistani Muslim family taking an evening walk in London, Ontario, on Sunday was killed in a hit-and-run incident that local authorities believe to be hate-motivated. 

The incident: Five members of the family were reportedly waiting to cross an intersection near Hyde Park Road at about 8:40 p.m. when a black pickup suddenly mounted the curb and slammed into all of them before speeding off, reported NBC News

  • CBC confirmed the victim’s identities as Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Afzaal and Salman’s 74-year-old mother, Talat Afzaal.
  • The couple’s 9-year-old son, Fayez, survived and is currently recovering at a hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries. 
  • The suspect, identified as Nathaniel Veltman, 20, was arrested without incident about four miles away from the scene.
  • A cab driver who witnessed the arrest claimed Veltman laughed as police apprehended him in a mall parking lot, reported the London Free Press.

“Because they were Muslim”: Police said on Monday that they have evidence that Veltman’s attack was planned, premeditated, and “motivated by hate.” They divulged no other details about the evidence.

  • “It is believed these victims were targeted because they were Muslim,” Detective Supt. Paul Waight was quoted as saying. “There is no known previous connection between the suspect and the victims.”
  • Initial findings show Veltman is not involved with any known hate groups and does not have a criminal record.
  • Veltman, who appeared in court by videoconference Monday afternoon, was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and a count of attempted murder. Terrorism charges are also being considered.

Loss: Originally from Pakistan, Salman and Madiha arrived in Canada in 2007 with their then-baby daughter Yumna to start a new life as a family.

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Featured Image via Global News

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