Family Killed In ‘Premeditated’ Truck Attack Because They Were Muslim, Police Say
Police in Canada are investigating what looks to be a ‘premeditated’ car attack that killed four family members and left a young boy injured.
The family, who were of Muslim faith, were hit by a 20-year-old suspect who is accused of driving his vehicle into the family as they walked down the pavement in London, Ontario, on Sunday evening, June 6.
Those who lost their lives in the attack include a 74-year-old woman, a 46-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl. The young boy, who is nine years old, is in the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
During a briefing on the attack, Det.-Insp. Paul Waight said there is ‘evidence that this was a planned, premeditated act and that the family was targeted because of their Muslim faith.’
Waight explained the victims were waiting to cross an intersection at Hyde Park Road and South Carriage Road when the truck mounted the curb and hit them. The vehicle then continued to drive down the street before running a red light.
The suspect was arrested a few minutes later when he stopped in a car park roughly 4.3 miles away from the scene.
Amira Elghawaby, a human rights advocate and founding board member of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, said her ‘hands [had] been shaking for much of the day’ since she heard the news.
She told CTV News: ‘To be targeted in this way – a grandmother, a mother, and father, and young daughter killed so senselessly. While the young boy, who is set to survive now, has lost his family… [It] really just continues to boggle the mind as to how hatred in our society can lead to such utter devastation.’
The Muslim community is said to have reacted with shock and horror to the event, with community leader Nawaz Tahir commenting: ‘Our hearts are broken, our minds numb with pain. These were innocent human beings who were killed simply because they’re Muslim.’
Tahir stressed the need for Canada to ‘confront and stamp out Islamophobia and Islamophobic violence’ for the sake of the country’s children, families and communities.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) described the incident as a ‘terrorist attack on Canadian soil’, noting the man allegedly ‘got in his car, saw a Muslim family walking down the street, and made the decision that they do not deserve to live.’
Police have said there is no known connection between the driver and the victims. The investigation is ongoing, but the suspect has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder, with additional charges of terrorism being considered.
Featured Image Credit: Global National/PA Images
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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