LONDON, ONTARIO - Several hundred mourners joined a public funeral Saturday of a Canadian Muslim family run over and killed by a pickup driver in an attack police said was driven by hate.
The four members of the Afzaal family, spanning three generations, were killed last Sunday when Nathaniel Veltman, 20, ran into them while they were out for an evening walk near their home in London, Ontario, authorities said. A fifth family member, a 9-year-old boy, is recovering from his injuries in the hospital.
Police have said the attack was premeditated and allege the family was targeted because of their Islamic faith.
The hourlong ceremony started after the four coffins draped in Canadian flags rolled into the compound of the Islamic Center of Southwest Ontario and ended with prayers and condolences offered by religious and community leaders. Burial later was private.
"The very fact their coffins are draped in the beautiful Canadian flag is an apt testimony of the fact that the entire Canadian nation stands with them," Raza Bashir, Tarar High Commissioner for Pakistan to Canada, told the gathering.
The family moved to Canada from Pakistan 14 years ago.
The attack sparked outrage across Canada, with politicians from all sides condemning the crime, spurring growing calls to take action to curb hate crime and Islamophobia. London, 200 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of Toronto, has seen an outpouring of support in the aftermath of the attack.
Veltman, who returns to court on Monday, faces four charges of first-degree murder and one of attempted murder.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the killings a "terrorist attack" and vowed to clamp down on far-right groups and online hate.
"I think we're emotionally exhausted," Imam Aarij Anwer told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. before the ceremony. "We're looking forward to having some closure on Saturday."