London police have revealed that the victims of Sunday night's car attack are believed to have been targeted because of their Islamic faith.
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The collision occurred near Hyde Park Road and South Carriage Road in London, Ontario. A 20-year-old driver mounted the sidewalk and killed four members of the same family and injured a fifth.
"We believe this was an intentional act and that the victims of this horrific incident were targeted," Chief Steve Williams said in a news conference on Monday that was posted by Global News. "We believe the victims were targeted because of their Islamic faith."
"We understand that this event may cause fear and anxiety in the community and in particular the Muslim community and any community targeted by hate," he added. "I want to reassure all Londoners that all of us on the call today and many others stand with you and support you."
London's mayor, Ed Holder, also released a statement. "Speaking directly to our broader and beloved Muslim community, I want each of you to know ours is a safe community," he stated. "Together we will grieve, and together our hearts will mend."
The suspect, identified as Nathaniel Veltman, has reportedly been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.