The man charged with killing a volunteer caretaker outside of a Rexdale mosque follows a hate group online and has shared neo-Nazi content.
CBC has confirmed that 34-year-old Guilherme “William” Von Neutegem follows a neo-Nazi group on social media and a Nazi symbol was posted to an Instagram account that belongs to him.
These details are revealed as community members and advocates are urging Toronto police to investigate the incident as a hate crime. Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner attended a Saturday vigil honouring 58-year-old Mohamed-Aslim Zafis, and said that hate crime charges could be laid if the evidence supports it.
On Friday, police announced they’d arrested a suspect in his death. Von Neutegem has been charged with first-degree murder.
Zafis was killed on September 12 and his funeral took place last week.
The International Muslim Organization thanked police for their work on the case and said they ask that the possibility of a hate crime be explored.
“The IMO will be calling on the Toronto Police Service to investigate the murder as a potentially hate-motivated homicide,” the organization said in a statement Friday.
Police had previously indicated that Zafis’ death may be linked to another homicide after Rampreet “Peter” Singh, a homeless man who lived under a bridge several kilometres away, was stabbed to death five days earlier. However, homicide detectives said there is no update on that case at this time.