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Mother, four children among six found dead in Barrhaven, 19-yr-old charged

Last Updated Mar 7, 2024 at 4:41 pm MDT

Ottawa police have identified six people, including an infant, killed in a suburb of Ottawa, as a family of newcomers from Sri Lanka.

The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) responded to a home in the 300 block of Berrigan Drive at 10:52 p.m. Wednesday, March 6 after receiving a number of 911 calls.

Investigators say a man was found outside the house, yelling for help, and was taken to hospital where he is now in serious, but stable condition.

Police say the bodies of his wife, four children, and an acquaintance were then found inside the home.

The victims have been identified as:

  • Darshani Banbaranayake Hama Walwwe Darshani Dilanthika Ekanyake, 35
  • Inuka Wickramasinghe, 7
  • Ashwini Wickramasinghe, 4
  • Rinyana Wickramasinghe, 2
  • Kelly Wickramasinghe, 2 months old
  • Amarakoonmubiayansela Ge Gamini Amarakoon, 40

Sri Lanka’s High Commission says it is in touch with family members in the country’s capital of Colombo.

Ottawa police say Febrio De-Zoysa, 19, has been charged with six counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder. Investigators say he is a student, was an acquaintance of the family and was living in the home at the time.

Officers say an edged weapon was used in the mass killing.

“This was a senseless act of violence, perpetrated on purely innocent people,” Chief Eric Stubbs said in a news conference.

Ottawa mass killing
Ottawa’s homicide unit is investigating the deaths of four children and two adults found in a home in Barrhaven on March 6, 2024. (Cormac MacSweeney/CityNews)

Tragedy has shaken residents of Ottawa

Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe called the news “devastating”.

“While it will be difficult for many of us to go about our usual routines in the face of such tragedy, again there is no risk to the public. We are fortunate to live in a safe city where these events are extremely rare, but everyone understandably will react to this news today, and feel less safe and secure.”

Mark Sutcliffe, Mayor of Ottawa

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is also expressing condolences saying his “thoughts are with the family and friends of the six victims and the entire Ottawa community”.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also commented on the tragedy, during a news conference Thursday.

“Obviously our first reactions are all ones of shock and horror at this terrible violence. We are expecting that the community reaches out to support family and friends as Canadians always do, and we expect the police of jurisdiction to be doing the work and keeping us all informed of this terrible tragedy.”

Justin Trudeau on Barrhaven tragedy

The Ottawa Catholic District School Board is encouraging anyone in need of support to reach out.

Ottawa Public Health also encourages anyone who needs support can access resources for help on its website.

Anyone with information on the tragedy is asked to contact the Ottawa Police Service Homicide Unit at 613-236-1222 ext. 5493. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 or crimestoppers.ca.