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Mass stabbing in Ottawa leaves six members of Sri Lankan family, including four children, dead, suspect arrested
Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons/ShareAlike 4.0 International

Mass stabbing in Ottawa leaves six members of Sri Lankan family, including four children, dead, suspect arrested

| @indiablooms | 09 Mar 2024, 09:31 am

At least six people of Sri Lankan origin, including four children, died in a stabbing incident in Canada's Ottawa city on Wednesday.

Police said Febrio De-Zoysa, a 19-year-old male student from Sri Lanka, has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

"He is a Sri Lankan national who is believed to be in Canada as a student," Ottawa Police said in a statement.

Police identified the victims as 35-year-old Darshani Banbaranayake Gama Walwwe Darshani Dilanthika Ekanyake and her four children: seven-year-old Inuka Wickramasinghe, four-year-old Ashwini Wickramasinghe, two-year-old Rinyana Wickramasinghe and two-month-old Kelly Wickramasinghe.

"A sixth man, Gamini Amarakoon Amarakoon Mudiyanselage, 40, was also found deceased," police said.

Police said: "Investigators continue to seek any surveillance, doorbell or dashcam footage from residents, visitors and businesses who may have been in the area at the time of the incident."

The father of the family, who was identified as Dhanushka Wickramasinghe, was injured in the attack.

He is currently undergoing treatment in hospital.

Suneetha, a resident monk and director of the Hilda Jayewardenaramaya Buddhist Monastery on Heron Road, told CBC News that the members of the family were very helpful.

"I cannot say he's doing well, but he's a little bit stronger than we thought," Suneetha told CBC News after meeting Dhanushka Wickramasinghe in the hospital.

Dhanushka's family had only been in Canada for about a year, according to Suneetha.

A representative of Uber confirmed to CBC News that Dhanushka was a driver for them.

Suneetha said Dhanushka had also opened a cleaning business.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau expresses shock

"Obviously our first reactions are all one of shock and horror at this terrible violence," he told CBC News.

"We are expecting that the community reaches out to support family and friends, as Canadians always do," he said.

Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe expresses sadness

"Like many Ottawa residents, and as both a father and mayor, I’m feeling incredible sadness and grief over the tragic loss of life in Barrhaven. We will observe a moment of silence tomorrow morning at the breakfast for International Women’s Day. I encourage families, community groups, and workplaces throughout Ottawa to observe a moment of silence or pay their respects in their own ways," he posted on X.


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