The 20-year-old man charged with 4 counts of first-degree homicide in the pickup truck attack against a Muslim family in Canada was described as a “nice guy” by co-workers — and had no known ties to hate groups.
Nathaniel Veltman is accused of killing Salman Afzaal, 46, his spouse Madiha, 44, their daughter Yumna, 15, and Afzaal’s 74-year-old mom — and injuring the couple’s 9-year-old son Fayez.
The suspect labored part-time at Gray Ridge Egg Farms, an egg-packing facility in Strathroy, Ontario, CTV News reported.
In an announcement, firm CEO William Gray stated administration and employees “were shocked and saddened” to discover out one in all their staff had been charged in the attack.
“We join our community in expressing condemnation of this violent attack and offer our heartfelt sympathy to the family and the Muslim community,” Gray stated in the assertion.
Tina Perry, a former longtime co-worker of Veltman, informed CTV News that he was a pleasant man who stored to himself and was all the time obtainable to assist when somebody wanted it.
“He was always a nice guy,” she informed the outlet. “I’ve never heard anything bad about him. I’m very shaken up about this.”
Arman Moradpourian, one other pal who labored with Veltman, referred to as him a really religious Christian and stated he was residence schooled.
Moradpourian added that Veltman didn’t have an issue with him being Persian and raised Muslim.
“He never judged me,” he informed The Associated Press. “He would give his shirt off his back for you.”
Veltman has not been charged with a hate crime, however police are nonetheless contemplating extra prices.
“The terrorism charge is certainly on the radar,” London, Ontario, Police Chief Stephen Williams informed CTV News.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau referred to as the incident “a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred, in the heart of one of our communities.”
“If anyone thinks racism and hatred don’t exist in this country, I want to say this: How do we explain such violence to a child in a hospital? How can we look families in the eye and say “Islamophobia isn’t real”? Trudeau informed Parliament.
Many Canadians have been having fun with night walks to get recent air after lengthy days at residence in the course of the pandemic, he stated.
“But unlike every other night, this family never made it home,” he continued. “Their lives were taken in a brutal, cowardly and brazen act of violence. This killing was no accident. … Canadians are outraged by what happened on Sunday. And many Muslim Canadians are scared.”
Trudeau partly blamed rhetoric, disinformation and extremism on-line and in politics for the attack.
“They can be a seed that grows into an ugly, pervasive trend. And sometimes, they lead to real violence,” the prime minister stated.
Thousands of mourners together with Trudeau and the leaders of all of Canada’s political events attended a vigil Tuesday evening on the mosque the family attended.
“There are no words that can ease the grief of having three generations murdered in their neighborhood,” Trudeau informed the gang.
“There are no words that can undo the pain and yes the anger of this community. There are no words that can fix the future of that little boy who has had his future taken away. But know this: You are not alone. All Canadians mourn with you and stand with you,” he added.
Imam Abd Alfatah Twakkal of the London Muslim Mosque stated he hoped the vigil can be a pivotal in the battle in opposition to the scourge of racism and discrimination.
“Every single one of us need to do our part,” he stated.
With Post wires