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Sextuple murder in Barrhaven: Residents in shock

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An informal memorial has was established not far from the killings in the Barrhaven neighborhood on Thursday evening.


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Residents of the Barrhaven neighborhood in the west 'Ottawa and members of the Sri Lankan community are struggling to come to terms with the murders of four young children, their mother and a family friend on Wednesday evening.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Their bodies were found in their house during the night from Wednesday to Thursday. Only the father, Dhanushka Wickramasinghe, survived.

We are all shocked, there is no doubt about it, said Bhante Suneetha, who met the family at a local Buddhist monastery. In my entire life, I have never heard of such a tragic moment in our community.

At a press briefing on Thursday, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) clarified that the family had just arrived in Canada from Sri Lanka. All of the victims, as well as the 19-year-old suspect, who was arrested, lived in the same house, according to police.

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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.

Police have filed six charges of first degree murder, as well as one count of attempted murder, against Febrio De-Zoysa , who was arrested at the scene of the tragedy.

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Nixsala Antony, who participated in a vigil in a park near the scene of the crime, is originally from Sri Lanka. She didn't know this family, but she was surprised when she heard the news.

They probably had a lot of hopes and dreams. It’s really sad, she said.

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Ottawa Police Chief Eric Stubbs and Mayor Mark Sutcliffe assured they would support the community. (File photo)

Bhante Suneetha, who is also the director of the Hilda Jayewardenaramaya Buddhist Monastery on Heron Drive , said the family came to the temple for events and helped the community. He described them as gentle and kind.

They are peaceful and very helpful people. It doesn't matter [who asks them] for help.

Mr Sunnetha said he visited Dhanushka Wickramasinghe, the father who survived the incident, in hospital on Thursday. He's not doing very well, but he's doing a little better than we thought, he said.

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Bhante Suneetha is the headmaster of the Hilda Jayewardenaramaya Buddhist Monastery.

According to Mr. Sunnetha, Dhanushka's family n&amp ;#x27;has only been in Canada for about a year. The father arrived in 2020 after completing his studies and obtaining a work permit. Last year, his wife and their three children joined him, recalls the director of the Buddhist monastery. She was then pregnant with the couple's fourth child.

An Uber representative confirmed that Dhanushka Wickramasinghe was a driver for the company. Mr. Sunnetha added that he had also opened a cleaning business.

Hilal Ahmed, an accountant, said he was contacted by the father last month for accounting services.

Mr. Ahmed found Dhanushka very polite and accommodating. He called the situation tragic.

According to Ottawa police, the suspect, Febrio De-Zoysa, arrived in Canada from Sri Lanka as a & #x27;foreign student.

On Thursday evening, Algonquin College President Claude Brulé confirmed that Mr. De-Zoysa was a student at the institution and indicated in a written statement that he last attended the college during the semester Winter 2023.

The OPS also explained that Mr. De-Zoysa was an acquaintance of the family and that he lived in the same house as the victims at the time of the murders.

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Febrio De-Zoysa appeared in court Thursday afternoon. (File photo)

Ottawa Police Chief Eric Stubbs said Thursday that the homicides were carried out with a sharp weapon.

Mr. De-Zoysa made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon. He is due back in court on March 14.

These children… They did nothing to deserve this, shared Shanti Ramesh, who lives across the street from the house where the murders took place. They come into the world to give something back and that's what happens? It's horrible.

The Hilda Jayewardenaramaya Buddhist Monastery said it is currently collecting donations for the victims' families and is holding a candlelight vigil at 11 a.m. Saturday in Palmadeo Park.

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The funeral will be planned at a later date.

Funeral services will be planned at a later date.

It will take time for us to digest all this, Mr. Ramesh said. In fact, it will stay with us forever.

With information from Kimberly Molina, Kristy Nease, Sophie Kuijper Dickson and Benjamin Lopez Steven, from CBC News

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