“Screaming” and “people running everywhere”, this is how a woman described the scenes of shock and horror that she will “not forget” in the attack on a Muslim family in northwest London, Ontario, Canada, on Sunday evening.
Police and eyewitnesses say that the family, who was walking along Hyde Park Road, around nine o’clock on Sunday evening, stopped at an intersection to cross the road, and then a black pickup truck climbed onto the sidewalk and collided with them, killing four members of the family. Family and adolescent injury.
The police received several calls about the accident, and emergency teams quickly arrived at the scene in an attempt to rescue the victims, amid a gathering of residents and passersby who were shocked by what happened.
“People are running everywhere”
Paige Martin, who lives in the neighborhood where the tragedy occurred, said in her testimony to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation “CBC” and the Associated Press that she was driving around 8:30 pm to refuel.
While her car was parked in front of a traffic light, she saw a “black flash” passing quickly of the truck, which was speeding to the point that she felt a strong vibration of her parked car, and she said at the time that he may be a “strange driver.”
On her way home, she looked in the car’s rear-view mirror, to see cars lined up along the road and emergency vehicles arriving at the scene.
She says she saw a chaotic scene at an intersection near her house: “It was just a mess, there were people running everywhere. People were just trying to direct emergency vehicles where to go. There was screaming and waving of arms. It was just like something you never want to see.”
There I saw first responders running to help, an officer pressing on the chests of people lying on the ground, as dozens of people stood on the sidewalk and several drivers got out of their cars to help.
“I can’t get the screaming sound out of my head,” Martin says.
From her apartment, she could see the scene more clearly and saw a sheet covering a dead body around midnight.
Kristen, another resident, was at home preparing dinner with her fiancé when they heard the crash. When they went out to check, they did not realize the seriousness of the situation until they saw the cars lined up everywhere.
immigrant family from pakistan
Police said the victims were a 74-year-old woman, a 46-year-old man, a 44-year-old woman, and a 15-year-old girl.
Zahid Khan, a family friend, said three generations were killed in the attack: a grandmother, a father, a mother and a teenage daughter. He points out that the deceased were members of a family that immigrated from Pakistan, about 14 years ago, and described them as “respectful and generous individuals in the London Islamic Mosque.”
“They were out for a walk, they were out every day,” Khan says, crying near the scene of the accident.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims said it was “horrified” by what had happened, noting that Muslims in Canada had “become aware of the violence of Islamophobia”.
“This is a terrorist attack on Canadian soil and it must be dealt with as such,” said council president, Mustafa Farouk. “We call on the government to prosecute the attacker to the fullest extent of the law, including considering terrorism charges.”
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said that police arrested the accused, Nathaniel Feltman, 20, a resident of London, in the parking lot of a nearby shopping center after the incident, and he appeared in court via video link on Monday afternoon.
He faces four counts of first-degree murder, and a possible “terrorism” charge, according to Detective Paul White, who said at a press conference, “There is evidence that this was a premeditated and premeditated act and that the family was targeted because of their Islamic faith.” .
An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday at the Forensic Science Center in Toronto.
The city’s mayor, Ed Holder, said flags would be flown at half-mast for three days in London, which he said has about 30,000 to 40,000 Muslims among its more than 400,000 residents.
In 2017, a French-Canadian extremist opened fire at a Quebec City mosque, killing six people.