A 36-year-old man is dead and Lowertown residents are on edge after a shooting Friday night on a residential street off King Edward Avenue.
There were unanswered questions Saturday about the circumstances leading up to the victim, Vuyo Kashe, in the fatal shooting on Clarence Street, between the intersections of King Edward and Nelson Street, around 11:40 p.m. the night before.
What police were able to say on Saturday was that neighbors had heard gunshots, there were multiple 911 calls, and the victim was found dead in the street.
They had no indication there was a public threat, according to the homicide unit staff sergeant. Jeff Pilon. But police were working to identify the suspects, “and all the who, why, when, where, how,” Pilon said.
In their conversations with witnesses, they had yet to find anyone who actually saw the shooting happen.
“If there are some (eyewitnesses) and they haven’t communicated, we would like to talk to them,” Pilón said. “Or if anyone has video that captures the shooting, we would definitely like to see it.”
One of the 911 callers was 38-year-old Clarence Street resident Christie Millen. She heard the shots (several neighbors told this newspaper they heard five or six) and she turned off the lights and reached the front door, where she saw Kashe lying in the street. .
After calling for help, he waited a minute — “I just wanted to wait to make sure there was no one, no active shooters still around” — and then went outside to see if he was still breathing. She quickly backed away, with the arrival of the police and their calls for everyone to get out.
“I saw them try to save him. Obviously, that didn’t happen.”
Millen didn’t sleep well Friday night. And after six years in her apartment, the possibility of moving was on her mind.
“However, it’s not really about me. I took a little moment of silence for him this morning and had my tea here with the bees and the birds and everything. But there were detectives walking around, so it wasn’t very peaceful.”
He had looked up the victim’s name. “It doesn’t seem like she had an easy life.”
In 2013, at the age of 27, Kashe pleaded guilty and received a four-year prison sentence for two robberies while armed with a knife, one at a time. Super 8 Motel and the other at a payday loan facility, both in Saskatoon, where he stole a total of $310.
Defense attorney Shane Kozakavich said the robberies were fueled by kashethe drug problems — at the time, an addiction to crack cocaine. pointed out one of the victims told the police kashe I was apologize her even when he stole her and promised not to hurt her.
kashe he wanted to serve his prison time for the robberies and get help for his addictions, the defense said.
In 2016, Postmedia reported that kashe he was wanted on a probation order across Canada violation.
In two years of living on Clarence Street, walking his dogs in the neighborhood every day, Mike Smith, 27, said he has seen robberies and people walking around with bats and knives, but nothing like Friday’s fatal shooting.
“I would really like to know…just for peace of mind, like was it a targeted attack or was it just random because, like, that’s scary if it’s just random,” Smith said. His girlfriend had come home minutes before the shooting; On Saturday, she was looking at apartment listings.
Another neighbor, who did not want to give her name, said she did not want to see “King Edward Street problems” spread to her block and surrounding streets, where homeowners, student renters and Ottawa Community tenants live. Housing.
The Lowertown-ByWard Market area, home to residents, businesses, and a high concentration of shelter, addiction, and social service providers, has been hit hard by a toxic drug supply, a homeless crisis, and pandemic disruptions to businesses. and services vital to the well-being of the community. being.
At the same location where Kashe was killed, Millen said he saw someone revive from a near-fatal overdose. Last fall, a girl was mugged in the street, Millen said, and before that he recalled another shooting a few blocks away.
“It’s only been the last couple of years that I’ve been noticing a lot. Before that, I was the occasional person like stoned or drunk or something, yelling while walking down the street… honestly, it’s only been during COVID that I’ve maybe been home long enough to notice. But I don’t remember much of this happening before the last two years.”
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the Ottawa Police Homicide Unit at 613-236-1222, extension 5493. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222. -8477 or Crimestoppers.ca .