OTTAWA — New details about a man accused of intentionally driving his truck into a family in London, Ont., killing four, are emerging from court documents his parents described as “strange and challenging.”
Nathaniel Veltman, 20, was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder for driving his Dodge pickup truck into a Muslim family while walking down a London street on Sunday night.
Salman Afzal, his wife, Madiha, his daughter, Yumna and Afzal’s mother were all killed. The family’s nine-year-old son was injured but survived.
Police believe it was a hate-motivated attack. A witness said that Veltman was wearing a swastika on his shirt and was laughing when he was arrested.
Documents filed in the 2016 divorce proceedings of Veltman’s parents made no mention of racism or bigotry, but did depict someone who is prone to anger and who was medicated for mental illness.
According to divorce records, his parents agreed to encourage him to continue therapy and to ensure that he did not remain unsafe with his younger siblings.
Veltman and his twin sister are the eldest of six children in the family, now aged between 10 and 20.
Veltman’s father, Mark Veltman, works at Lambton College of Applied Arts and Technology in Sarnia, Ont. His mother Alicia Bissett has worked as a personal trainer.
According to a 2017 report on custody issues prepared by London psychologist Dr Richard Zayed in a section titled “Nathaniel’s Struggle”, “he was often socially awkward, lacked self-confidence and was at odds with the views of others.” was busy.”
As his parents’ marriage faltered, Veltman became “terrifyingly furious” and especially for his mother for “raising her voice and pounding on her in an intimidating way, and pounding on the door”. were abusive, the report said. Her mother said that she locked herself in her room to avoid her.
Child support paid by Veltman’s father was an issue in his relationship with Veltman’s mother, records show. Veltmann blames her for living in “a bad apartment” in Sarnia for her father.
Although he attended Strathroy High School, reports state that Veltman was angry with his mother for homeschooling his siblings.
The psychological report also cited Weltman’s involvement in an incident “allegedly pushing a female co-worker into a locker that resulted in her being threatened with assault charges,” although there is no indication that she was charged. was ever charged.
Records show that Veltman left her mother’s home in January 2017, after her parents separated in January 2017, and legally relinquished parental control through a lawyer. He lived with a girlfriend before getting his own apartment.
The report said that Veltman later apologized to his mother for his behavior. She tried to address her issues with him, but, “Nate refuses to discuss these issues, dismisses the need for boundaries and refuses to discuss his mental health,” wrote Zayed. .
He told the psychologist that “he’s not a bad kid” but added that he “lacks understanding” and doesn’t make good decisions.
Veltman’s aunt told Granthshala News that the family is “devastated” by the allegations, but declined further comment.
Veltman is due to appear in a London court on Thursday.
If you need mental health support in the wake of London, Ont. Vehicle assault, support and resources are available here.