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Tragedy Strikes Barrhaven: Six, Including Mother and Children, Killed in Brutal Attack

Late Wednesday night in Barrhaven, a quiet suburb in south Ottawa, tragedy struck as six individuals, including a mother and her four young children, along with a family acquaintance, were brutally killed inside a townhouse.

According to Ottawa police Chief Eric Stubbs, the grim incident unfolded with two 911 calls around 10:52 p.m. Responders swiftly arrived at the residence on Berrigan Drive, near Palmadeo Drive, an area nestled amidst residential tranquility and educational institutions.

The victims have been identified as members of a family from Sri Lanka who recently immigrated to Canada:

  • Darshani Dilanthika Ekanayake (35-year-old mother)
  • Inuka Wickramasinghe (7-year-old son)
  • Ashwini Wickramasinghe (4-year-old daughter)
  • Rinyana Wickramasinghe (2-year-old daughter)
  • Kelly Wickramasinghe (2-month-old daughter)

The father, Dhanushka Wickramasinghe, survived the attack and is recovering in stable condition. Tragically, another man, 40-year-old Amarakoonmubiayansela Ge Gamini Amarakoon, also lost his life.

Febrio De-Zoysa, a 19-year-old Sri Lankan national believed to be residing in Canada as a student, faces six counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. Notably, he was acquainted with the family and was living in the same household at the time of the heinous crime.

De-Zoysa, a student at Algonquin College, appeared in court for the first time late Thursday, where he was ordered not to contact certain individuals, including Dhanushka Wickramasinghe. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 14.

Expressing condolences to the bereaved, Chief Stubbs denounced the killings as “a senseless act of violence perpetrated on purely innocent people.” He highlighted the family’s youngest daughter, born in Canada, underscoring the tragedy’s layered complexities.

In the wake of this harrowing event, support mechanisms are being mobilized. A memorial at Palmadeo Park stands as a testament to the community’s grief, while the Ottawa Catholic School Board offers counseling to affected students and staff.

Witnesses like Shanti Ramesh recount scenes of chaos and despair, emblematic of a neighborhood shattered by incomprehensible loss. Stubbs clarified that while the weapon used was described as “knife-like,” the motive behind the killings remains under investigation.

The profound impact reverberates beyond Barrhaven, drawing condolences from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, who termed it “one of the most shocking incidents of violence in our city’s history.”

In the face of unspeakable tragedy, solidarity and support emerge as vital conduits of healing for Barrhaven and its grieving residents.

Source: CBC

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