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

Keremeos’ heritage Grist Mill and Gardens. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Keremeos Grist Mill looking forward to restrictions easing with exclusive concert planned

Juno Award-winning folk artist Valdy is set to take the stage

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

Letter writer says COVID has created lots of newbie cyclists who don't know rules of cycling. (File photo)
LETTER: Newbie cyclists in Penticton need lessons on rules of the road

Penticton cycling group just received city funding, should give back by offering how-to lessons

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Sandra Krauer, Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki and Barb Hoolaeff were in Skaha Park to announce the return of Ribfest for September, 2021. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Ribfest returns to Penticton

Festival runs from Sept. 17 - 19 at Skaha Lake Park with proceeds going to new splash park

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

More flames
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

Himalayan Life helped finance the construction of Nepal’s Yangri Academic Centre and dormitories after a 2015 earthquake devastated the valley, killing more than 9,000 people. (Screen grab/Peter Schaeublin)
B.C. charity founder pledges to rebuild Nepalese school swept away by flash floods

Six years after an earthquake killed more than 9,000 people, Nepal faces another catastrophy

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

Most Read