As Ottawa reels from multiple homicides, a look at recent mass killings across Canada

The Canadian Press

Published Thursday, March 7, 2024 2:30 pm EST

Last updated Thursday March 7, 2024 2:30 pm EST

Ottawa is in shock after police said six people, including four children, were found dead Wednesday night in a home in the far south suburb of Barrhaven.

Here’s a look at recent examples of mass killings in Canada:

March 6, 2024: Six people died in an Ottawa home, including Darshani Banbaranayake Gama Walwwe Darshani Dilanthika Ekanyake, 35; her four children, Inuka, seven, Ashwini, four, Rinyana, two, and Kelly, two months; and a 40-year-old man, Amarakoonmubiayansela Ge Gamini Amarakoon. The woman’s husband was taken to the hospital injured. The couple was from Sri Lanka. A 19-year-old man, Febrio De-Zoysa, was arrested Thursday and charged with six counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. He is a Sri Lankan national believed to be in Canada as a student.

March 16, 2023: Seven people died in a fire at a heritage building in Montreal. After several months, the police announced that their investigation had become a criminal investigation because traces of accelerant were found at the scene. As of January, no charges had been filed in the case. Among the people who died in the fire were Camille Maheux, 76; An Wu, 31 years old; Dania Zafar, 31 years old; Saniya Khan, 31 years old; Charlie Lacroix, 18; Nathan Sears, 35 years old; and Walid Belkahla, 18 years old.

March 13, 2023: A man drove a truck into several groups of pedestrians in the town of Amqui, Quebec, about 350 kilometers northeast of Quebec City, killing three people. Steeve Gagnon turned himself in and was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and nine counts of attempted murder. The attack claimed the lives of Gérald Charest, 65, Jean Lafrenière, 73, and Simon-Guillaume Bourget, 41.

October 24, 2023: Bobbie Hallaert killed four people in Sault Ste. Marie. Marie, Ontario, including three of his own children, before turning the gun on himself. Police characterized the shooting as a case of intimate partner violence. They said the shooter broke into one home and killed a woman before heading to a second home, killing three children and shooting another woman, who survived. Family members identified one of the victims as 41-year-old Angie Sweeney.

November 26, 2023: A shooting claimed the lives of four people at a multi-unit home in Winnipeg’s West Broadway neighborhood. Police said a man and a woman were pronounced dead at the scene, and another man and a woman died later at the hospital. Jamie Randy Felix was charged in the case in December. Police named those killed as Crystal Beardy, 34; her sister Stephanie Beardy, 33; Melelek Lesikel, 29 years old; and Dylan Lavallee, 41.

December 18, 2022: A gunman opened fire on a condo building in Vaughan, Ontario, killing five people and seriously injuring another. Police said Francesco Villi, who was involved in a long dispute with the board of his condominium, killed three board members and two of his partners before police shot him dead. Among the victims were Rita Camilleri, Vittorio Panza, Naveed Dada, Russell Manock and Lorraine Manock.

August 2, 2022: In Montreal, Abdulla Shaikh killed three people at random over a 24-hour period in the Montreal area: André Lemieux, 64, Mohamed Belhaj, 48, and Alex Lévis Crevier, 22. The killer died in an exchange of gunfire with police at a Montreal motel.

September 4, 2022: In Saskatchewan, 11 people were killed and 17 others injured in a wave of stabbings in James Smith Cree Nation and the nearby community of Weldon, after killer Myles Sanderson went from house to house, kicking down doors and attacking people. . An investigation found last month that Sanderson died of a cocaine overdose shortly after entering police custody. Bonnie Burns, Gregory Burns, Earl Burns, Lydia Gloria Burns, Carol Burns, Thomas Burns, Lana Head, Christian Head, Wesley Patterson and the killer’s brother, Robert Sanderson, were killed in the attacks.

June 6, 2021: A pickup truck was used to hit a Pakistani Muslim family at an intersection in London, Ontario. Salman Afzaal and Madiha Salman were killed, along with her daughter Yumnah and her grandmother Talat. His nine-year-old son was seriously injured. Self-described white nationalist Nathaniel Veltman was found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. A court ruled last month that it was an act of terrorism.

April 19, 2020: A man who at one point was wearing a police uniform and driving a car painted to look like a police cruiser killed 16 people, including an RCMP officer, in a shooting in northern Nova Scotia. Police said the shooter, Gabriel Wortman, 51, died after being intercepted by officers in Enfield, N.S. Victims included Joy Bond, Peter Bond, Gina Goulet, Elizabeth Joanna Thomas, John Joseph Zahl, Corrie Ellison, Dawn Madsen, Frank. Gulenchyn, Aaron Tuck, Jolene Oliver, Emily Tuck, Sean McLeod, Alanna Jenkins, Tom Bagley, Lisa McCully, Const. Heidi Stevenson, Heather O’Brien, Kristen Beaton, Greg Blair, Jamie Blair, Joey Webber and Lillian Campbell Hyslop.

July 27, 2019: Four people died at their home in Markham, Ontario. Menhaz Zaman pleaded guilty in 2020 to three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder for killing his parents, his grandmother, and his sister. Police found the bodies of Firoza Begum, 70, Moniruz Zaman, 59, Momtaz Begum, 50, and Malesa Zaman, 21, in his house.

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