Four members of a Muslim family were killed and a child injured, Sunday evening June 6, in an attack “Premeditated” by a man driving a pickup truck in a town in southern Ontario, local police said Monday (June 7).
The suspect, a 20-year-old man, was arrested shortly after the fact and charged with four premeditated murders and one attempted murder. “There is evidence that this was a premeditated and planned act, motivated by hate. We believe the victims were targeted because they were Muslims ”, said Paul Waight, investigator for the London Police Department, where the attack took place on Sunday evening. “There is no known previous link between the suspect and the victims”, he added, adding that he was wearing a jacket resembling “A bulletproof vest” at the time of his arrest.
Inspector Waight said local authorities were in contact with federal police and the attorney general to give evidence “Possible accusations of terrorism” against the suspect.
Justin Trudeau “horrified”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said to himself “Horrified” sure Twitter. “To the loved ones of people terrorized by yesterday’s act of hatred, we are here for you. We are also wholeheartedly with the child who is still in the hospital and we think of him during his recovery. “
“Islamophobia has no place in any of our communities. This hatred is insidious and contemptible – and it must stop ”, wrote the head of government.
At approximately 8:40 p.m. Sunday local time, police said the five family members were waiting to cross a crossroads when a black pickup truck “Got on the sidewalk and hit them”. The names of the victims were not disclosed, but they are a 74-year-old woman, a 46-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman and a 15-year-old teenager, representing three generations of one family, said London Mayor Ed Holder.
“Let’s be clear, this is a mass murder perpetrated against Muslims, against Londoners, rooted in an indescribable hatred”, said Holder.
The attack brought back painful memories of a mass shooting in a Quebec mosque in January 2017, considered one of the worst attacks of its kind in a Western country, ahead of Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2019 A Canadian supremacist, Alexandre Bissonnette, then 27, opened fire on the faithful gathered at the Quebec mosque, killing six people and seriously injuring five others.
The gunman was sentenced to life in prison, but the safety period prohibiting his parole has since been reduced to 25 years, instead of 40 initially. The Supreme Court of Canada has accepted to hear appeals on this reduction in the security period.
The London attack was also reminiscent of a fatal ram pickup attack in Toronto in April 2018, where a man initially claiming to be from the Incel movement (short for “unintentionally celibate) deliberately killed ten pedestrians. Alek Minassian, 28, has been found guilty of his actions and is awaiting his sentence.