Four members of a Muslim family were killed in a “premeditated” vehicle attack on Sunday in the Canadian city of London, Ontario, Canadian police say.

“A man struck and killed four pedestrians with his vehicle,” Police Chief Steve Williams said, adding “we believe this was an intentional act and that the victims of this horrific incident were targeted because of their Islamic faith.”

The police stated that there is no known previous connection between the suspect and the victims, adding that the suspect was wearing a vest that appeared to be “like body armour”.

The victims were two women aged 74 and 44, a 46-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl. They have not been named, in accordance with the wishes of the family. A nine-year-old boy was in hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver was arrested in the car park of a nearby mall and faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

In a statement, London Mayor Ed Holder said this was an act of mass murder, perpetrated against Muslims, against Londoners, and rooted in unspeakable hatred.