March 11, 2024

6 People, Including Mom And 4 Kids, Found Murdered At Home

Six people, including a mother and her four children, were found slain in a "mass killing" inside a Canadian home overnight, authorities said Thursday.

Febrio De-Zoysa, 19, allegedly used an "edged weapon" to attack the family in their Barrhaven neighborhood townhouse shortly before 11 p.m., according to Ottawa Police Chief Eric Stubbs.

The victims were identified as 35-year-old Darshani Dilanthika Ekanyake and her children: Inuka Wickramasinghe, 7; Ashwini Wickramasinghe, 4; Rinyana Wickramasinghe, 2; and 2-month-old Kelly Wickramasinghe. Family friend Amarakoonmubiayansela Ge Gamini Amarakoon, 40, was also killed.

One person — the husband and father of the young victims — was found alive inside the home and was taken to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

"I want to emphasize this was a senseless act of violence perpetrated on purely innocent people. I know our whole community is shocked and mourning this event," said Stubbs.

De-Zoysa was arrested at the scene without incident, police said. Stubbs clarified Thursday afternoon that the incident was not a shooting as initially believed: "This was a mass killing, not a mass shooting."

He added that police did not believe it was a domestic-related incident but did not reveal a motive. Police said De-Zoysa — who is also a Sri Lankan national and is in Canada as a student — was an acquaintance of the family and was living in the home at the time of the killings.

De-Zoysa was charged with six counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

Ottawa's Mayor Mark Sutcliffe called the mass murder "one of the most shocking incidents of violence in our city's history."

"We are proud to live in a safe community, but this news is distressing to all Ottawa residents," he tweeted.

In a letter to parents, the Ottawa Catholic School Board confirmed that the two eldest children were students at the nearby Monsignor Paul Baxter School. "Our deepest sympathies and sincerest condolences go to the families and loved ones of the victims during this incredibly challenging time," the school's principal Vincenza Nicoletti wrote in the letter.

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