Vigil to be held Tuesday night in Calgary in memory of London, Ont. family

A vigil will be held Tuesday night in Calgary to honour the memory of the family killed in London, Ontario.

The incident occurred Sunday night around 8:40 p.m., when the truck of 20-year-old London, Ontario resident Nathan Veltman allegedly struck a family of five walking on Hyde Park Road in London, killing four.

The lone survivor was a nine-year-old who is in hospital with serious injuries.

Veltman was arrested seven kilometres away, and at a Monday morning press conference, police said there was evidence the incident was hate-related.

"There is evidence that this was a planned, premeditated act and that the family was targeted because of their Muslim faith," said Det.-Insp. Paul Waight during the briefing.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi took to Twitter Monday night to denounce hatred and call for a stand against racism, religious bigotry and terrorism.

A grandmother. A mum. A dad. A teenager. All gone. A little boy seriously injured. Because of their faith. An act of terrorism. In our country. Unthinkable. Shocking. We are all sad and we are all angry. And yet. And yet. 2/

— Naheed Nenshi (@nenshi) June 8, 2021  

Nenshi outlined the ongoing harassment Muslim, Sikh, Indigenous and BIPOC Canadians face in our country before challenging people to make a difference.

"So, join me in grief and anger. Check in on your Muslim friends and neighbours. That's a kindness. But ask yourselves, what else can I do?  What’s my role in creating a truly anti-racist society? What can I do today?," said Nenshi

"It's the second time in a week I've asked you to get loud. Stand up to racism and all bigotry, including Islamophobia, wherever and whenever you see it. Don't support politicians who sow division for their own benefit.  And don't make the mistake of thinking that this is only a Muslim tragedy.

To borrow from my wise friend Don Iveson (Edmonton mayor), this isn't just a Muslim tragedy. It's not even just a family tragedy. It's a Canadian tragedy. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un."

Calgary police issued a statement Monday about the incident on their Facebook page.

"The senseless murder of an Ontario family, targeted because of their faith, has deeply shocked and saddened us. Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of those lost in this tragedy. Our thoughts are also with the first responders who worked tirelessly to save the victims of this horrible act."

"Our Diversity Resources Unit will be reaching out to the Calgary Muslim community to offer support. Resources are also available through the Victims Assistance Support Team by calling 403-428-8398. Please know, we are here for you in your time of grief."

The vigil will take place at 8 p.m. at city hall. Social distancing protocols will be observed. Participants are asked to wear masks and to bring candles and posters to highlight the cause.

With files from Justin Zadorsky and Matt Thompson, Tamara Heisel and Reta Ismail CTV London