People show up to the location where a family of five was hit by a driver, in London, Ont., Monday, June 7, 2021. Four of the members of the family died and one is in critical condition. A 20 year old male has been charged with four counts of first degree murder and count of attempted murder in connection with the crime. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Brett Gundlock

People show up to the location where a family of five was hit by a driver, in London, Ont., Monday, June 7, 2021. Four of the members of the family died and one is in critical condition. A 20 year old male has been charged with four counts of first degree murder and count of attempted murder in connection with the crime. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Brett Gundlock

Mosque to host vigil for family killed in London, Ont., vehicle attack

Pickup truck mounted a curb, struck family as they were out for an evening walk, then drove away

A vigil is scheduled for tonight at the mosque of five family members who police say were intentionally struck down by a driver in London, Ont.

The London Muslim Mosque said the city and the country are devastated in the aftermath of Sunday’s attack, which left four dead and sent a nine-year-old boy to hospital.

Police have said the family members were targeted because of their Muslim faith.

They say a pickup truck, driven by a 20-year-old London man, mounted a curb, struck them as they were out for an evening walk and then drove away.

Police have not released the names of the victims, but a statement released by the family late Monday identifies them as Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman and Afzaal’s 74-year-old mother.

The couple’s nine-year-old son Fayez was seriously injured but is expected to survive.

Sana Yasir, a friend of the family who lived down the street, confirmed she had been in touch with Afzaal’s brother and sister-in-law and released the statement on their behalf.

“We need to understand that the destruction of a family in the brutal and horrific manner like this is something we must all stand against,” the statement reads. “We need to stand against hate and Islamophobia and raise awareness in our communities and throughout all political spectrum.”

Yasir said the family was well known within the local Pakistani-Muslim community.

“They were the most loving, caring and genuine family and would always greet you with a smile,” she said.

Dozens came out to the scene of the attack on Monday night to pay tribute.

People cried, hugged and placed flowers around a light pole and a nearby tree, a metre away from where the truck hopped the curb onto the sidewalk.

Rauf Ahmad and three of his friends watched the growing tribute on the corner. The group said they all had members who were killed in Pakistan over their Muslim faith.

“I didn’t think there was racism in Canada and I felt very safe when I came here two years ago, but I do not feel safe now,” Ahmad said.

“Humanity is first, we should not care about whether someone is a Muslim, a Jew or a Christian.”

Politicians across Canada and beyond have also denounced the attack, with many calling it an act of terror.

Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, condemned the incident on Twitter, saying it reveals “the growing Islamophobia in Western countries.”

The country’s foreign affairs minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, expressed sympathy for the relatives of the victims and hope for the child’s recovery.

Nathaniel Veltman has been arrested and charged with murder in the attack.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Dark day: Police say five pedestrians run down in London, Ont., targeted as Muslims

racismTerrorism

Just Posted

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
SD70 chooses new name for AW Neill School in Port Alberni

New name honours Nuu-chah-nulth Peoples’ connection to region

Ron MacDonald fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Sept. 27, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Finding ‘comfortable’ indigenous monitor tough task in Tofino-area shooting death

Julian Jones case hampered by difficulty finding a civilian comfortable with privacy protocols

Port Alberni RCMP officer in command Insp. Eric Rochette presents longtime community policing volunteer Louie Aumair with a OIC appreciation certificate. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni RCMP honour longtime volunteer

First responders receive support from broader community

The Dock+ is located on Harbour Road in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
PROGRESS 2021: Port Alberni’s food hub still growing a year later

The Dock hopes to open a retail store on Alberni’s busy waterfront

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

A view of the outside of St. Andrews Roman Catholic Cathedral on Victoria’s Blanshard Street. (Don Denton/News staff)
Vancouver Island bishop apologizes for church’s role in residential schools

Bishop Gary Gordon of the Diocese of Victoria voices commitment to healing and reconciliation

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read