LONDON, Ontario – Prosecutors on Monday brought terrorism charges against a man accused of bringing down and killing four members of a Muslim family in London, Ontario.
Prosecutors said the four first degree murder cases of Nathaniel Veltman constitute an act of terrorism and prosecutors have upgraded these charges under Canada’s Criminal Code. Police claim the incident was a planned and deliberate attack on Muslims.
Veltman is also facing charges of attempted murder for terrorist activity.
The increased charges were brought when Veltman briefly appeared in court on video Monday morning. He does not have to make a plea yet.
Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna and their 74-year-old grandmother Talat Afzaal were killed on an evening walk on June 6.
The couple’s nine-year-old son, Fayez, was seriously injured but is said to be recovering.
Family friend Saboor Khan said it was “the right thing” to upgrade the charges against Veltman.
“The family and community have been terrorized and many of us are afraid to leave their homes,” said Khan.
A family funeral over the weekend drew hundreds of mourners to the Islamic Center of Southwestern Ontario.
Veltman’s next trial is scheduled for June 21st.