Nathaniel Veltman who killed Muslim family 'laughed' during arrest: Report
Veltman who was wearing a military-style helmet and body armor reportedly asked an onlooker to videotape his arrest
Nathaniel Veltman, who is accused of plowing his pickup truck into a Muslim family in what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a “terrorist attack” was allegedly wearing body armor and laughed as police took him into custody.
On Sunday, June 6, Veltman crashed into a Muslim family of five, killing four of them by running over his black truck. A taxi driver who happened to be near the scene of the deadly attack told the London Free Press of Canada that he observed Veltman's damaged and blood-spattered truck pull up behind him. According to the taxi driver, Veltman emerged from his vehicle wearing body armor, a military-style helmet and clothing that might have been festooned with swastikas, and asked the man to call the police because he had just killed someone. Yellow Taxi London President Hassan Savehilaghi, speaking to the newspaper on behalf of his driver, said that when officers arrived on the scene and removed Veltman from his vehicle, "he was laughing." Veltman allegedly asked the cab driver to videotape his arrest.
The cab driver, who works the night shift, gave a statement to the police, then quickly went home and hasn’t returned to work since the incident, Savehilaghi said. “He’s really traumatized. It is terrifying. You’re all by yourself.” Records show that vehicle. the pickup truck was purchased by Veltman on May 12, 2021, from Southwest Auto Group in London.
The victims were later identified as Salman Afzal, 46; his wife Madiha, 44; their daughter Yumna, 15; and a 74-year-old grandmother whose name has not been made public. The couple’s nine-year-old son, Fayez, remains in hospital. Friends of the family revealed that they emigrated to Canada 14 years ago from Pakistan.
The suspect has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. A friend of the suspect told the newspaper that the 20-year-old had “never said anything hateful” about any groups before. “He’s Christian and has a great relationship with God ... He was always pretty calm towards other people,” added the unnamed friend.
A co-worker told the newspaper that Veltman had been recently distressed by the death of a family member. “He seemed broken up over it on Friday. That’s the last time I saw him,” the unidentified co-worker said.
Earlier Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau branded the incident a “terrorist attack” aimed at the Muslim community. “This was a terrorist attack, motivated by hatred, in the heart of one of our communities,” he told the country’s Parliament. “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?’"