Warning: This story contains disturbing details:
The man arrested for the murder of a Muslim family in London on June 6, 2021, was “happy” and “seemed giddy,” one of the first police officers to interact with the accused testified in Ontario Superior Court on Friday. Windsor.
Det. Const. Matthew Hietkamp, who was on the witness stand as Nathaniel Veltman’s murder and terrorism trial concluded its second week, spoke about the defendant’s behavior when he saw him just after his arrest.
“When I got there, he was happy, smiling, looking around. He looked dizzy, that’s what I saw,” Hietkamp said, adding that the 22-year-old also looked “like he had good news.”
Hietkamp said that as Veltman was being taken in a police cruiser to London police headquarters from the Cherryhill Mall parking lot where he was arrested, he was trying to make eye contact with people stopped at red lights in cars behind him. his side.
Minutes earlier, five members of the Afzaal family were out for an evening walk when they were hit and killed by a black van driven by the defendant, which is one of the agreed statements of fact that the defense does not dispute.
Yumnah Afzaal, 15, her parents, Madiha Salman, 44, and Salman Afzaal, 46, and family matriarch Talat Afzaal, 74, were killed. A child who was nine years old at the time survived.
The defendant faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder, as well as associated terrorism charges. Crown prosecutors allege he was motivated by far-right ideology. In testimony heard earlier in the trial, the defendant told police that he was angry about “white minority” crime and that he was attacking Muslims the night the Afzaals were attacked.
Hietkamp, who was sent to the parking lot of the shopping center where the defendant was found, was the last in a series of London officers to testify.
Hietkamp said he drove behind the officer who transported the defendant to downtown police headquarters and searched him before the booking sergeant saw him.
“He [Veltman] “He was wearing a white T-shirt with a cross painted on it, construction-style jeans, and steel-toed boots.”
His boots were removed because they could be used as a weapon, the officer added.
Earlier in the day, the court heard Const. Patti Leavoy-Costa, who arrived at Cherryhill Mall shortly before Hietkamp. She described the defendant as tense and “kind of bouncing and moving.”
“He was causing a scene, so to speak,” he added, stating that the defendant was not yelling at anyone in particular.
Leavoy-Costa noticed extensive damage to the front of the defendant’s black Dodge Ram pickup truck, which was smoking and smoking in the parking lot.
“What caught my attention was a piece of fabric that was wedged into the hood,” he said.
The trial, which is expected to last eight weeks, was moved to Windsor long before proceedings began on September 11.
Continues on Monday.