2021 London, Ontario truck attack

On June 6, 2021, a man rammed a pickup truck into Muslim Pakistani Canadian pedestrians at an intersection in London, Ontario, Canada.[1] Four people were killed, and another was wounded; all were from the same family.[2] Police say the attack was motivated by Islamophobia.[3][1] The attack was the deadliest mass killing in London's history.[4] It was condemned by Canadian leaders, and called terrorism by Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan and Premier of Ontario Doug Ford.[5][6] The suspect was charged with four counts of terroristic murder and one count of terroristic attempted murder.

London, Ontario truck attack
London, ON attack memorial.jpg
Flowers placed at the scene following the attack
LocationLondon, Ontario, Canada
Coordinates42°59′41″N 81°19′49″W / 42.99484°N 81.33021°W / 42.99484; -81.33021
DateJune 6, 2021 (2021-06-06)
TargetMuslim pedestrians
Attack type
Vehicle-ramming attack
WeaponsPickup truck
AccusedNathaniel Veltman


At about 8:40 pm on June 6, 2021, a man mounted a curb and drove his pickup truck into five members of a family. According to police, this attack was intentional,[7] and motivated by anti-Muslim hatred.[3] The attack took place at the intersection of Hyde Park Road and South Carriage Road in London's Hyde Park neighbourhood, where the family had been waiting to cross. A witness described being stopped at a red light when the truck sped past her, shaking her car from the force.[8] One woman was pronounced dead at the scene, and the others were rushed to a hospital, three of them later succumbed to their wounds.[9]

Shortly before 9:00 pm, a black pickup truck approached a cab parked at Cherryhill Village Mall, about 7 km (4.3 mi) away from the attack.[8] The driver of the truck, 20-year-old Nathaniel Veltman, approached the cab driver, said that he had just killed someone and asked the cabbie to call the police. Speaking on behalf of the traumatized driver, Yellow Taxi London president Hassan Savehilaghi described Veltman as wearing a military-style helmet and a bullet-proof vest which may have been tagged with swastikas, and the truck was covered with blood. Savehilaghi's description was corroborated by a mall maintenance worker who also witnessed the arrest. The driver called 9-1-1 and waved down a passing police cruiser. Veltman allegedly laughed as he was arrested, and asked the driver to film it.[10]


The five victims were all from the same family and Muslims; most arrived in Canada from Pakistan in 2007.[1] The dead were a 46-year-old husband, his 44-year-old wife, their 15-year-old daughter and his 74-year-old mother.[11] The only survivor, the family's nine-year-old boy was seriously injured.[9] On June 14, a family friend said he was out of the hospital.[12]


By June 7, Nathaniel Veltman was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.[13] The London Police Service believe he planned the attack in advance.[14] He was wearing a body-armour-style vest at the time of his arrest,[15] and might have participated in an airsoft shooting game that evening before the collision.[10] He had no previous connection to the victims[16] or known ties to hate groups.[17]

Veltman worked at an egg-packing facility in Strathroy and lived in an apartment on Covent Market Place in downtown London.[17] One friend and co-worker who was raised as a Muslim described him as a proud Christian, and noted he seemed to treat Muslims normally for the four years he worked there.[18] Co-workers said the alleged murders and motivation seemed out-of-character and unexpected, one denying Veltman is a radical terrorist or Islamophobe.[10]

During Veltman's parents' divorce in 2016, he was described as "peculiar and challenging", and both agreed he should continue therapy and be supervised around his younger siblings.[19]

Legal proceedingsEdit

Shortly after the attack, Crown attorneys charged Veltman with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. He made a court appearance on June 10, without a lawyer, so was given time to find one. On June 14, the charges were all upgraded to include terrorism, and the court adjourned until June 21. Many details of the case are under a publication ban.[20]


The House of Commons held a moment of silence for the victims.[5] The attack was condemned by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,[5] the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada, Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi,[21] the National Council of Canadian Muslims[13] and Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan[22] all of whom called it an act of terrorism motivated by hatred. All parties in the Canadian parliament agreed to call "an emergency national action summit to tackle Islamophobia."[23]

A vigil was held on June 8, at the London Muslim Mosque. Premier of Ontario Doug Ford temporarily lifted provincial COVID-19 restrictions in London for it to proceed.[24] Trudeau, Ford and London mayor Ed Holder attended, among thousands more.[25] On June 12, a public funeral was held with hundreds in attendance.[26]

In June 2022, the city of London and other organizations organized an event in honour of those killed as well as to generate awareness about Islamophobia.[27] Over 1000 people attended the event, including Prime Minister Trudeau.[28]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Man suspected of killing Canadian Muslim family was motivated by hate -police". Reuters. June 8, 2021. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  2. ^ Gillies, Rob (June 7, 2021). "Canadian police say family run down targeted as Muslims". The Washington Post. AP. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Accused in fatal London, Ont., truck attack on Muslim family makes brief court appearance". CBC News. June 21, 2021. Police say the attack on the Afzaal family was motivated by anti-Muslim hate.
  4. ^ Juha, Jonathan (June 8, 2021). "Police remain at accused mass killer's downtown London home". The London Free Press. Retrieved June 9, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ a b c Aiello, Rachel (June 8, 2021). "'This was a terrorist attack,' PM Trudeau says as MPs pay tribute to family killed in London, Ont". CTV News.
  6. ^ Jeffords, Shawn; Thompson, Nicole (June 8, 2021). "'Act of evil:' Thousands mourn victims of anti-Muslim attack in London, Ont". MSN News. The Canadian Press.
  7. ^ Dale Carruthers, Jane Sims (June 8, 2021). "Family of pedestrians killed in intentional anti-Muslim attack: London police". London Free Press.
  8. ^ a b Casey, Liam (June 7, 2021). "'Dark day:' Police say five pedestrians run down in London, Ont., targeted as Muslims". The Toronto Star. The Canadian Press. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Muslim family in Canada killed in 'premeditated' truck attack". BBC News. June 8, 2021. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  10. ^ a b c Richmond, Randy; Carruthers, Dale; Juha, Jonathan (June 9, 2021). "Suspect in alleged London hate killings laughed during arrest: Witness". The London Free Press. London, Ontario. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  11. ^ "Muslim family ID'd in fatal truck attack in London, Ont., known for commitment to community". CBC. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  12. ^ Dubinski, Kate (June 14, 2021). "9-year-old survivor of London, Ont., attack released from hospital, accused also faces terror charges". CBC News. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  13. ^ a b Lamoureux, Mack (June 7, 2021). "Muslim Family Killed in 'Hate-Motivated' Attack, Canadian Police Say". Vice. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  14. ^ "Canadian man who killed four with truck targeted Muslims, police say". The Guardian. June 7, 2021. Retrieved June 7, 2021.
  15. ^ Carruthers, Dale; Sims, Jane (June 7, 2021). "Family of pedestrians killed in intentional anti-Muslim attack: London police". London Free Press. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  16. ^ Westoll, Nick; LeBel, Jacquelyn (June 7, 2021). "4 killed in London, Ont. attack likely targeted for being Muslim, police say". Global News. Retrieved June 8, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ a b Cousins, Ben; Sachedina, Omar (June 8, 2021). "What we know about Nathaniel Veltman, the man charged in the London, Ont. attack". CTV News. Retrieved June 9, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ Bell, Stewart; Russell, Andrew; Rizza, Alanna (June 8, 2021). "London attack was latest of Canada's 'most deadly' form of extremism, national security adviser says". Global News. Corus Entertainment. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  19. ^ McGregor, Glen (June 10, 2021). "Court documents portray London attack suspect as prone to anger, medicated for mental illness". Newstalk 610 CKTB. Bell Media. Archived from the original on July 6, 2021. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  20. ^ Zadorsky, Justin (June 14, 2021). "Terror charges laid against Nathaniel Veltman, accused in London, Ont. vehicle attack". CTV News. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  21. ^ Babych, Stephanie (June 7, 2021). "'Join me in grief and anger': Calgary mayor calls for action after deadly attack on Muslim family in London". Calgary Herald. Retrieved June 8, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ Imran Khan [@ImranKhanPTI] (June 8, 2021). "Saddened to learn of the killing of a Muslim Pakistani-origin Canadian family in London, Ontario. This condemnable act of terrorism reveals the growing Islamophobia in Western countries. Islamophonia needs to be countered holistically by the international community" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  23. ^ Connolly, Amanda (June 11, 2021). "MPs unanimously back call for emergency summit on Islamophobia after London, Ont. attack". Global News. Corus Entertainment.
  24. ^ Alberga, Hannah (June 8, 2021). "'A province left in mourning': Premier Doug Ford attends vigil for Muslim family struck in deadly targeted attack". CTV News Toronto.
  25. ^ "Thousands pack London, Ont. vigil as PM Justin Trudeau calls attack on Muslim family an 'act of evil'". CTV News London. June 8, 2021. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  26. ^ "Muslim victims of truck attack given farewell with coffins draped in Canadian flags". Reuters. June 12, 2021. Retrieved June 13, 2021.
  27. ^ "Muslim family killed in London, Ont., attack to be honoured with 5 days of events for 1-year mark". CBC. May 11, 2021.
  28. ^ "Hundreds attend anti-Islamophobia march in London, Ont., in memory of Afzaal family". CBC. June 5, 2022.