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

UPlan, the Youth Planning Table subcommittee, decorated downtown Maple Ridge in honour of this years grads. (The News files)
Grad parties being planned by parents in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Four COVID-safe events being held at Pitt Meadows Golf Club

Valerie Miller met a small child at the vigil at the Maple Ridge bandstand, and found it an uplifting encounter during a dark time. (Special to The News)
LETTER: Encounter at Maple Ridge’s orange shirt memorial a bright spot

A small child showed the relentless optimism of kids

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Fond memories of a promising student

Former teacher recounts Olympic kayakers other feats as a child

Flyers are being distributed around the Albion area in an effort to protect the young bear.
Young bear in Albion needs help to survive

Maple Ridge Bears asks public to remove attractants

Jackie Brittain demonstrated her artistic talents when conceiving an idea and sketching out an award-winning advertising campaign for Golden Meadows Honey Farm. Her efforts have earned her back-to-back industry accolades, including a gold medal win at the BCYCNA Ma Murray Awards Thursday night.
VIDEO: Honeycomb sketches turn into back-to-back industry accolades for News

A honey ad and a quarterly lifestyle magazine produced by The News were lauded by B.C. news media

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

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

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read