In under six hours of deliberation, the jury in the Nathaniel Veltman murder trial in Windsor, Ontario, has delivered a verdict of guilt on charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder in connection to the 2021 truck attack on a Muslim family in London.
The 12-member jury, engaged in deliberations for over 10 weeks, commenced their discussions at approximately 5:40 p.m. on Wednesday and announced the verdict early Thursday afternoon.
The heinous attack, deemed a hate crime by law enforcement due to its association with anti-Muslim sentiments, prompted widespread condemnation in Canada and internationally.
The Afzaal family was walking in a suburban area of London when they were struck by the truck, driven by Veltman, as acknowledged in an agreed statement of facts. The victims included Yumnah Afzaal, 15, her parents Madiha Salman, 44, and Salman Afzaal, 46, and family matriarch Talat Afzaal, 74. A nine-year-old boy injured in the assault managed to survive.
Despite the 22-year-old Veltman pleading not guilty to charges of murder, attempted murder, and associated terror offenses in the June 6, 2021 attack on the Afzaal family, the jury found him guilty on all counts.
"We are relieved to see that the man who killed four members of #OurLondonFamily has been convicted on all counts," says NCCM (National Council of Canadian Muslims) in a social media post. "We are relieved that justice has been served."
"This is a time for reflection and solidarity. With the family. With the community in London, Ontario. We have to reflect deeply on the violent #Islamophobia that has gripped our country. "