Superior Court of Justice building in Windsor, Ontario, September 18, 2023. (Photo by Maureen Revait) Superior Court of Justice building in Windsor, Ontario, September 18, 2023. (Photo by Maureen Revait)
London

Veltman felt "huge sense of relief" after hitting family with his truck

On the day after his arrest, Nathaniel Veltman told investigators he felt a “huge sense of relief” after crashing into the Afzaal family because, after months of planning, he finally went through with it.

The jury saw the rest of Veltman’s second statement to police as court proceedings continued in a Windsor courtroom Monday.

Veltman has pled not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder after his Dodge Pick-Up truck struck the Afzaal family while they were out for an evening walk on June 6, 2021.

Talat Afzaal, 74, her son Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, and their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Afzaal were all killed. Their then 9-year-old son was the only survivor.

“I had this huge sense of relief almost, that it is over, I did it, I finally did it, went through with it,” said Veltman to London Police Service Detective Micah Bourdeau. “I feel sick, I will probably always feel sick. It wasn’t a very pleasurable thing to do, but the fact that I followed through was a relief.”

Toward the end of the interview, Veltman began deflecting the detective’s questions. He did not want to speak specifically about his actions or the motivations behind them.

When asked about the victims and what he knew about them, Veltman said he could not “confirm or deny” anything.

During the same line of questioning about his motivations, Bourdeau asked Veltman about any close connections he had. Veltman said he didn’t have any but Bourdeau asked about a friend who is Muslim.

Veltman said Ishmael was the “closest” friend he had.

“He’s not really Muslim. He comes from a Muslim family, but that’s not the same thing,” Veltman said.

The interview ends with Veltman admitting he acted entirely alone and there was no one helping with his plans.

During cross-examination, Bourdeau testified he was off-duty when the call came in and was called in to help with the investigation. Shortly after midnight he was tasked with interviewing the accused but did not begin the interrogation until after 1 a.m.

Between 9:15 p.m., when Veltman was booked into the police station, and 1 a.m., when his first interview with Bourdeau occurred, Veltman was in a “dry” cell with no access to a toilet and no food or water.

Defence lawyer Christopher Hicks proposed that Bourdeau waited to speak to him until 1 a.m. when he was likely tired, hungry, and afraid to take advantage of his client in a “vulnerable situation.”

Bourdeau testified that he does not believe Veltman’s treatment was by design and believes he was treated like any other prisoner brought into the London Police Service. Bourdeau offered him food and water throughout the first interview.

Veltman was searched two times before the interview with Detective Bourdeau. Bourdeau searched him a third time and took pictures of Veltman for evidence.

Hicks asked Bourdeau if this search was “superfluous” and a way to show “control” over Veltman. Bourdeau disagreed.

The cross-examination of Detective Bourdeau will continue on Tuesday.

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