Published March 7, 2024

The latest on Ottawa homicide: six dead, including four kids, in Barrhaven townhome

Ottawa homicide - CP

1:51 p.m.

Police say there is still a lot of work to do to understand all of the relationships between people who lived in the Barrhaven townhouse where the homicides occurred.

The 40-year-old victim who was not in the same immediate family unit as the mother and four children who died is described as a friend of the family. 

Police say the 19-year-old suspect was an acquaintance of the family who also lived in the house. 

They say he arrived in Canada recently, but they couldn't provide exact details about how long he has been in the country. 


1:33 p.m.

Police say a 19-year-old man has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. 

They say the man is a Sri Lankan national believed to be in Canada as a student. 

Police say a 35-year-old woman and her four children — a seven-year-old, a four-year-old, a two-year-old and a two-month-old — were victims of an attack that used an edged weapon. 

Her husband was injured and is in hospital in stable condition, and a sixth 40-year-old man was found dead.


11:59 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he and other Canadians reacted with shock and horror after seeing the news about the homicide.

He says he expects the community to reach out to support family and friends as Canadians always do.

He says he also expects the police of jurisdiction to do the work and keep the public informed about what he calls a "terrible tragedy." 

Trudeau made the comments at a news conference in Toronto. 


11:21 a.m. 

An Ottawa police spokesperson says the police chief misspoke when he said earlier this morning that the killings were a "mass shooting." 

Const. Cailey Walker says Eric Stubbs meant to say "killings" and the weapon has not been confirmed. 

She says more details will be available at 1:30 p.m. when police are expected to give an update to reporters.


11:17 a.m.

Sayed Ahmadi says he arrived home at almost midnight on Wednesday evening and wasn't able to park his car because of the police presence. 

Blood spatter is still visible just outside his car this morning. 

He says he remembers seeing a man washing his car in the townhouse's driveway and kids aged about 7 or 8.


11:02 a.m.

Sri Lanka's high commission in Ottawa says the people who died were a family of Sri Lankan nationals who were not Canadian citizens.

The high commission says the father survived but his wife and children are dead.

It says officials in Ottawa are in touch with family members in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. 


10:49 a.m.

The Ontario legislature held a moment of silence for victims of the multiple homicide. 

Premier Doug Ford said earlier this morning on social media that the news is heartbreaking.

He says his thoughts are with the family and friends of the six victims and the entire Ottawa community that is reeling from the tragedy. 


10:29 a.m.

Two Ottawa police officers are going door-to-door in the neighbourhood looking to speak with neighbours about the homicide.

People are looking out their doors and windows as police walk up and down the sidewalk.

Local media are also in the neighbourhood and speaking with potential witnesses.


10:15 a.m.

Shanti Ramesh lives across the street from the townhouse where the homicide happened Wednesday night. 

She says she saw a man yelling by the left side of the driveway as police cars and ambulances arrived at around 11 p.m.

Ramesh says police took the man away.


9:30 a.m. 

Sharlene Hunter, a spokesperson for the Ottawa Catholic School board, won't confirm whether the kids dead in Wednesday night's homicide went to one of the board's schools.

The townhouse where it happened is within a block of a Catholic elementary school as well as a public elementary school.

Hunter says the school board will provide students and staff with any assistance and support that is needed during this difficult time. 


9 a.m.

Police chief Eric Stubbs tells CBC News in an interview that a lone actor seemed to be responsible for Wednesday's homicide. 

Stubbs says it was likely not an incident of domestic violence.

A police spokeswoman is not confirming what weapon was used. 

Stubbs says it was a "horrific scene." 


9 a.m.

Adele Mason says she was driving her husband to work and their usual route was cut off by police activity.

She says the neighbourhood is a safe and busy part of Barrhaven and news of the attack made her want to put her arms around her kids.

Her daughter Sasha Gawley says she walks past the townhouse to go to school every morning and she never expected something like this to happen. 


8:45 a.m.

Ahmed Saed lives a few blocks away from where the homicide happened. 

He says it's unbelievable that this happened and his kids woke up asking what was going on. 

They walk together to school every morning past the townhouse. 


7:23 a.m.

Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe says he was devastated to hear of the multiple homicide in Barrhaven.

He says it's one of the most shocking incidents of violence in the city's history. 

He says the news is distressing to Ottawa residents and his thoughts are with family members and neighbours.

He thanks emergency responders for investigating and supporting those affected.


6:20 a.m.

Ottawa police are investigating the deaths of six people, including four children and two adults found in a home in the city's Barrhaven area.

A seventh person is in hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Police were called to the home in the city's south end around 11 p.m. Wednesday night.

A suspect was arrested very soon after that and police said there is no ongoing threat to public safety.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2024

Banner image via The Canadian Press - Police officers hold up a sheet as members of the coroner's office remove a body at the scene of a homicide where six people were found dead in the Barrhaven suburb of Ottawa on Thursday, March 7, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle.

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