Prosecutors have laid terrorism charges against a man accused of driving down and killing four members of a Muslim family in London, Ont.
The Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism and prosecutors have upgraded those charges under section 83 of the Criminal Code.
Veltman also faces one count of attempted murder due to terrorism activity.
The upgraded charges were laid as Veltman made a brief court appearance via video this morning.
Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal were killed while out for an evening walk on June 6.
The couple’s nine-year-old son, Fayez, was seriously injured but is expected to recover.
Police allege the incident was a planned and premeditated attack targeting Muslims.
A funeral held for the family over the weekend drew hordes of mourners to the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario.
The service was held in the centre’s parking lot and nearby soccer fields to accommodate the crowd amid pandemic-related health measures.
Madiha Salman’s uncle spoke during the service, thanking the public for the outpouring of support his family has received as they grapple with the “immense” loss of their loved ones.
Ali Islam said that support has provided “the first step towards finding a way to heal.”