The 20-year-old accused of killing four members of a Muslim family with his pickup truck in London, Ont., appeared in court on Thursday, where the case was put over until Monday.
Nathaniel Veltman is facing four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.
No additional charges were laid during Thursday’s brief court appearance, which saw Veltman connect virtually from the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre and the next date set for Monday, June 14.
When charges were first announced on Monday, police said the four members of a family who were struck and killed by a vehicle in the city’s northwest Sunday evening were believed to have been targeted because of their faith.
In an interview with Global News on Wednesday, Chief Steve Williams was reluctant to disclose the evidence police had gathered, but said it was quickly apparent Veltman had targeted a Muslim family.
“Without getting into the details of what evidence came from all that, we were fairly comfortable at an early stage attributing this to being a hate-motivated crime, and as I indicated, this family was targeted because of their Islamic faith.”
Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Afzaal and Afzaal’s 74-year-old mother were killed after police say a pickup truck intentionally mounted the sidewalk and struck the family.
Nine-year-old Fayez Afzaal, the lone survivor, suffered serious injuries.
Saboor Khan, who was their neighbour for 14 years and a close family friend, said Wednesday that the family “only did good to society, they only did good to others,” making their tragic loss that much more painful.
— With files from Global News’ Stewart Bell, Jeff Semple, Andrew Russell and Andrew Graham.
#BREAKING Nathaniel Veltman is now appearing in virtual court in London. He’s wearing orange prison attire and a mask. “Nate Veltman” he says when asked his name. Looking straight ahead at the camera. Hands clasped in front of him #londonOnt
— Catherine McDonald (@cmcdonaldglobal) June 10, 2021
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.