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Barrhaven murders: mother and four children among victims

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Darshani Dilanthika Ekanyak and her four children have were stabbed to death Wednesday evening in Ottawa. The father of the family survived.


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A neighborhood located in the west of Ottawa s' woke up in shock Thursday morning following what police describe as “one of the biggest killings” to have occurred in the contemporary history of the federal capital. Two adults and four children of Sri Lankan origin were found dead Wednesday evening in a Barrhaven residence.

A mother, Darshani Dilanthika Ekanyak, 35, and her four children – a seven-year-old boy, Inuka Wickramasinghe, and three girls, Ashwini Wickramasinghe, four, Rinyana Wickramasinghe, two, and Kelly Wickramasinghe, two months – were killed with knives, according to the police.

A monument was improvised in front of the victims' house.

This is one of the biggest killings, if not the biggest killing, to occur in Ottawa in recent years, said Patricia Ferguson, deputy chief of the Ottawa Police Service (OPS). ).

The father was seriously injured. Dhanushka Wickramasinghe is currently in hospital in a state of health considered serious but stable, according to the authorities. The sixth victim of this killing is Gamini Amarakoon, 40 years old.

According to the police, they all lived under the same roof on Berrigan Drive.

A 19-year-old man, also from Sri Lanka, was arrested and detained. Febrio De-Zoysa faces six counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

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He appeared in court Thursday afternoon. Febrio De-Zoysa was ordered not to contact five people, including Dhanushka Wickramasinghe.

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Febrio De-Zoysa appeared in court Thursday afternoon. He faces six counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

His next appearance is scheduled for March 14.

Authorities have confirmed that the main and only suspect in this case lived at the same address as the victims. The police believe he is a foreign student.

The authorities rule out domestic violence.

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Ottawa Police Service Chief Eric Stubbs provided an update Thursday afternoon.

The suspect was quickly arrested. Police entered the residence and discovered the bodies, Ottawa Police Chief Eric Stubbs said during a press briefing early Thursday afternoon.

He did not want to give details about the murder weapon, simply saying that it was a weapon sharp.

We know there are many questions about this tragedy. Our investigators are investigating this senseless crime to ensure justice is served. This means we must protect the integrity of the investigation for the courts. This is an attack on innocent people, said Deputy Chief Patricia Ferguson.

This tragedy will undoubtedly weigh on the hearts of each of us for a long time, she added. In tribute to the victims, there will be a vigil this evening. We are asking people to avoid the crime scene while the police investigation continues.

The mayor of Ottawa also spoke at the press briefing, saying he was upset by the tragedy that shook the neighborhood.

I am devastated. As a father, it’s really hard for me to hear children’s ages. They are very, very young. It's really hard to understand.

A quote from Mark Sutcliffe, Mayor of Ottawa

It's hard to believe this happened in Barrhaven and even in our city of Ottawa […]. As a parent, it's hard to believe that four children are dead. This breaks my heart. I want to assure that there is no threat to public safety, said the chief magistrate.

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According to Eric Stubbs, it is still too much early to say if the victims and the suspect are related.

A neighborhood resident encountered at the scene early Thursday morning expressed his amazement.

Usually, it's a neighborhood very calm. Besides car accidents, [nothing happens here]. It’s a shock. It's hard to hear. There are several families who live here and there is even a school nearby, reacted Michel Lemieux.

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A neighbor , Tiko Bell, was very disturbed when he met our Radio-Canada journalist.

Another neighbor, Tiko Bell, also confided his astonishment to Radio-Canada.

We watch these stupid series on TV. There are crimes and we tell ourselves that it only happens elsewhere. Today it happened in my backyard. This shouldn't be happening. It breaks my heart.

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People have submitted flowers in addition to lighting candles in memory of the four children and two adults killed Wednesday evening in the Barrhaven sector.

An informal memorial was established at the corner of Palmadeo and Rodeo Drives to honor the victims. The OPS invites citizens who have information about the tragedy to contact the Homicide Unit or Crime Stoppers.

Several municipal, provincial and federal elected officials also reacted. On the sidelines of a press conference Thursday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was shocked by this event.

We expect the community to come together to support family and friends, as Canadians always do, and we expect the police to do their job and hold us all back informed of this terrible tragedy, he commented.

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Police officers and members of the coroner's office are still at the crime scene.

The leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and MP for Carleton, Pierre Poilievre, indicated that he was devastated on the social network X.

I was devastated to hear this horrible news this morning in Barrhaven. My thoughts go out to the victims' loved ones and to the entire community mourning this tragic loss.

With information from Julie-Anne Lapointe, Frédéric Pepin, Emmanuelle Poisson, Rosalie Sinclair, CBC News and La Presse canadienne.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116