4 Children and 2 Adults Are Killed in Ottawa Home

4 Children and 2 Adults Are Killed in Ottawa Home

Members of a family of immigrants from Sri Lanka were stabbed to death by a student, also from Sri Lanka, at their home in a residential neighborhood in the south end of Ottawa, the police said on Thursday.

Investigators charged Febrio De-Zoysa, 19, an acquaintance who also lived in the home, with six counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder. He was arrested shortly after the police received two emergency calls to the home at around 11 p.m. Wednesday, police said.

Police Chief Eric Stubbs said at a news conference that the episode was the largest mass killing in Ottawa at least three decades. Police are not classifying the episode as domestic violence because the accused is not related to the victims.

“I want to emphasize this was a senseless act of violence perpetrated on purely innocent people,” Chief Stubbs said. “I know our whole community is shocked and mourning this event.”

The victims were identified as Darshani Banbaranayake Gama Walwwe Darshani Dilanthika Ekanyake, 35, the mother of the four children killed; Inuka Wickramasinghe, a 7-year-old boy; Ashwini Wickramasinghe, a 4-year-old girl; Rinyana Wickramasinghe, a 2-year-old girl; and Kelly Wickramasinghe, a 2-month-old girl.

The children’s father was seriously injured in the attack and was in stable condition at a local hospital. He was seen on the street shortly after the violence, yelling out for someone to call 911, the police said. .

The sixth person killed, Amarakoonmubiayansela Ge Gamini Amarakoon, 40, was an acquaintance living with the family who had also arrived from Sri Lanka.

The police said they believed the victims were killed with “an edged weapon” but would not elaborate what it was. Two police SUVs remained parked at the home nearly a full day after the killings, and the chief said it would take several days to process the scene.

Mass killings are rare in Canada, where the homicide rate in 2022 was about 2.3 killings per capita, about one-third of the rate in the United States that year.

There were 874 murders in Canada in 2022, according to the latest data from the census agency, representing an eight percent rise in the country’s homicide rate, and the fourth year of consecutive increases.

Mark Sutcliffe, Ottawa’s mayor, offered his condolences to the family.

“We are fortunate to live in a safe city where these events are extremely rare,” he said at the news conference. “Everyone, understandably, will react to this news today and feel less safe and secure.”