Jun 07, 2021
By Jeremy Logan
A family of five Muslims out for an evening early summer stroll were mowed down by a driver in an “act of mass murder,” the mayor of London, Ontario, said on Monday.
The horrific incident on Sunday evening left four of them dead and a boy with serious injuries, police said.
“Words fail on a day as dark as this but words matter,” Mayor Ed Holder said. “This was an act of mass murder perpetrated against Muslims, against Londoners, and rooted in unspeakable hatred.”
A 20 year old man was arrested in the parking lot of a mall seven kilometres away. He now faces four counts of first-degree murder and one of attempted murder, police said.
Police Chief Steve Williams said relatives had asked no names be released but identified the four victims as a 74-year-old woman, a 46-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl. A nine-year-old boy was in hospital in serious condition.
“We believe that this was an intentional act and that the victims of this horrific incident were targeted because of their Islamic faith,” Williams said. “All of the victims in this matter are members of the same family.”
London Muslim Mosque spokesman Nawaz Tahir says the victims were regulars at the mosque, and the community is grappling with fear, devastation and anger in the wake of the attack.
Tahir described the group as “a great family, a god-fearing family and really a joy to be around.”
He says the community is coming together to “make sure these acts of hate are met with even greater acts of love.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford says justice must be served “for the horrific act of hatred”.
Ford issued a statement Monday offering thoughts and prayers to the victims’ families and friends.
He says hate and Islamophobia have no place in Ontario.