Nathaniel Veltman Christian terrorist? A profile of a London, Ontario Canada man who killed 4 members of a Muslim Canada family, seen laughing at time of his arrest.
An Ontario, Canada man accused of plowing his pickup truck into a Muslim family over the weekend was reportedly wearing body armor and laughing as London police arrested him. A witness who said the 20 year old man had asked him to film his arrest told of the suspect, a devout Christian, covered in swastikas.
A taxi driver who witnessed Nathaniel Veltman’s arrest following the attack that killed four family members and left one critically injured — said he was on a break about 9 p.m. Sunday when he noticed a bloodied vehicle pull up behind him outside the Cherryhill Village Mall, the London Free Press of Canada reported.
The pickup driver allegedly told the cabbie to call the cops, saying he’d just killed someone.
Yellow Taxi London president Hassan Savehilaghi spoke to the news outlet on behalf of the cabbie, who was too distraught to discuss the incident publicly.
Wearing body armor and swathed in swastikas
The alleged attacker was wearing what appeared to be a bulletproof vest, a military-style helmet and clothing that perhaps was covered with swastikas, Savehilaghi said the cabbie told him.
Police have confirmed the driver was wearing a body armor-style vest, but a spokesperson declined to say whether he also was wearing anything with swastikas, the Free Press reported.
The incident which has ignited accusations the crime was motivated by hate and malice towards the victim’s faith and race has since inspired questions as to whether Veltman was associated with any terror or hate groups.
‘When they got him out of the vehicle, he was laughing,’ Savehilaghi said, adding that Veltman allegedly asked the cabbie to record his arrest.
Veltman, 20, was charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife, Madiha, 44, their daughter, Yumna, 15, and Afzaal’s 74-year-old mother.
The couple’s 9-year-old son, Fayez, who was injured in the carnage, was the sole survivor as the family set out for a Sunday night stroll. Veltman was also charged with the boy’s attempted murder.
Friends of the family who hailed from Pakistan, told of the victims emigrating to Canada 14 years ago.
Ties to terrorist groups?
Interviews with those who knew the suspect couldn’t identify the 20 year old, who worked part time at an egg packing facility, being associated with any terrorist groups.
‘He was a nice guy,’ co-workers said according to CTV News.
A man of Middle East descent who described himself as a ‘close friend’ of the suspect, insisted Veltman had no ties to hate groups while also claiming that the 20 year old was not an Islamophobe.
‘Nate is not a radical terrorist. He is nothing like that. He is not an Islamophobe. That’s not who this kid is,’ the un-named friend told the London Free Press of Canada.
The friend, who wished to remain anonymous, added that he never heard Veltman say a bad thing about the Middle East or Muslims.
‘Nate was a very close friend and never said anything bad to me,’ he said.
Another friend told the Free Press that Veltman ‘never said anything hateful’ about any groups.
‘He’s Christian and has a great relationship with God. … He was always pretty calm towards other people,’ said the man, who also wished not to be named.
One of the two friends, who also is a co-worker, said that three days before the attack, Veltman was having trouble with his new truck’s steering.
‘I actually drove with him on Thursday,’ he said, adding that on Friday, Veltman asked him to finish his work for him because a family member had died.
The Free Press cited an obituary from a funeral home that confirmed the death Friday of a 101-year-old woman who had several descendants named Veltman.
The obit suggests Nathaniel Veltman was one of 21 great-grandchildren.
‘He seemed broken up over it on Friday. That’s the last time I saw him,’ the friend said.