Suspect in London, Ont. vehicle attack to return to court June 14

Click to play video: 'Suspect in killing Muslim London, Ont. family appears in court' Suspect in killing Muslim London, Ont. family appears in court
WATCH ABOVE: Court documents reveal Nathaniel Veltman struggled in his teens and was taking an anti-depressant for mental health issues. Catherine McDonald reports – Jun 10, 2021

The 20-year-old accused of killing four members of a Muslim family with his pickup truck in London, Ont., appeared in court on Thursday, where the case was put over until Monday.

Nathaniel Veltman is facing four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

No additional charges were laid during Thursday’s brief court appearance, which saw Veltman connect virtually from the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre and the next date set for Monday, June 14.

Read more: Police tracing London attack suspect’s ‘online footprint,’ looking at terrorism charges, chief says

When charges were first announced on Monday, police said the four members of a family who were struck and killed by a vehicle in the city’s northwest Sunday evening were believed to have been targeted because of their faith.

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In an interview with Global News on Wednesday, Chief Steve Williams was reluctant to disclose the evidence police had gathered, but said it was quickly apparent Veltman had targeted a Muslim family.

“Without getting into the details of what evidence came from all that, we were fairly comfortable at an early stage attributing this to being a hate-motivated crime, and as I indicated, this family was targeted because of their Islamic faith.”

Read more: What is the government doing about Islamophobia in Canada? Here’s what we know

Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Afzaal and Afzaal’s 74-year-old mother were killed after police say a pickup truck intentionally mounted the sidewalk and struck the family.

Nine-year-old Fayez Afzaal, the lone survivor, suffered serious injuries.

Saboor Khan, who was their neighbour for 14 years and a close family friend, said Wednesday that the family “only did good to society, they only did good to others,” making their tragic loss that much more painful.

— With files from Global News’ Stewart Bell, Jeff Semple, Andrew Russell and Andrew Graham.

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