Everything About the Stabbing Incident in Canada That Killed 6 People


Advertisements
 

On 6 March 2024, six Sri Lankans were stabbed to death in the Canadian capital Ottawa with an “edged weapon”.

As a country where mass murders are rare, the news of this mass murder shocked the whole country, as well as those overseas.

Ottawa’s police chief Eric Stubbs said in a statement that emergency services received two calls at about 10:52pm on 6 March reporting a “suspicious incident” where a man was yelling for help and asking people to call 911.

When police arrived on the scene minutes later, they found six bodies, the New York Times reported.

The victims were identified as:

  • Darshani Banbaranayake Gama Walwwe Darshani Dilanthika Ekanyake, 35, the mother of the four children;
  • Inuka Wickramasinghe, a 7-year-old boy;
  • Ashwini Wickramasinghe, a 4-year-old girl;
  • Rinyana Wickramasinghe, a 2-year-old girl;
  • Kelly Wickramasinghe, a 2-month-old girl; and
  • Amarakoonmubiayansela Ge Gamini Amarakoon, a 40-year-old acquaintance of the family who was also living in the home.

The father of the family was wounded in the attack but managed to escape death and is currently in the hospital. He sustained serious, but non-life-threatening, injuries.

Stubbs emphasized that this was a mass killing and not a mass shooting.

The seven had recently relocated from Canada to Sri Lanka.

Febrio De-Zoysa, a 19-year-old male student from Sri Lanka, has been arrested and charged with six counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

The police said De-Zoysa knew the family and had been living in their house.

According to a religious leader who knew them, the family had even thrown De-Zoysa a birthday party last week.

The Response

“I want to emphasize that this was a senseless act of violence perpetrated on purely innocent people,” Stubbs said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the attack an act of “terrible violence”, reported Al Jazeera.

“We’re 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.”

Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, in an X (formerly Twitter) post, said it was “one of the most shocking incidents of violence in our city’s history.”

A vigil has been held for the victims at Palmadeo Park.


Advertisements
 

Members of the public have left flowers and stuffed toys there.

“We will observe a moment of silence tomorrow morning at the breakfast for International Women’s Day,” said Sutcliffe in a post on X.

“I encourage families, community groups, and workplaces throughout Ottawa to observe a moment of silence or pay their respects in their own ways.”

In Canada

Mass killings are relatively infrequent in Canada, which has a population of just over 38 million.


Advertisements
 

However, 2022 saw two prominent attacks. In December 2022, a 73-year-old man shot five people in a Toronto suburb before being fatally shot by police. The news rattled everyone, especially since Toronto had long prided itself on being one of the world’s safest big cities.

Several months prior, in September, a man also stabbed and killed 11 people in the western province of Saskatchewan. Among the 11 victims, one of them was the perpetrator’s own brother.

Despite all this, Canada is considered the world’s safest country for travellers in 2023-2024, according to a Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP) report released in late 2023.