Community mourns the horrific deaths of six

The community came together to mourn the six dead in the city’s worst mass killing.

Good morning!

Hope everyone is dealing with the time change okay. We may have (read: certainly did) start moving the young lad’s bedtime in the wrong direction in anticipation of the springing forward of the clock. Which was a bit of an oopsie.

So far, though, we seem to be doing okay. At least we were, until I went and jinxed it by typing this. Ah well.

In any case, we’ve got plenty to get through.

So, let’s get to it.

— Robert Hiltz, managing editor.


Monday: +5 🌡️ -3 | 🌤/❄️

Tuesday: +11 🌡️ -1 | ☀️

Wednesday: +12 🌡️ +1 | 🌦


Community reels from horrific killings

Mark Sutcliffe/Twitter

What happened: Hundreds of community members gathered in a Barrhaven park to pay tribute to the six victims of the city’s worst mass homicide, while the father, the only survivor of the attack that killed his wife and four children, lay in hospital with injuries sustained in the attack, CTV reported.

The victims of the attack*:

  • Inuka Wickramasinghe, seven years old

  • Ashwini Wickramasinghe, four years old

  • Ranaya Wickramasinghe, two years old

  • Kelly Wickramasinghe, two months old

  • Banbaranayake Gama Walwwe Darshani Dilanthika Ekanayake, 35 years old

  • Gamini Amarakoon Amarakoon Mudiyanselage, 40

Classmates of the children and their teachers left cards, while dignitaries said a few words of remembrance,  the Ottawa Citizen reported. Many tears were shed as the community tried to come to grips with the enormity of the tragedy. A family wiped out in horrible circumstances.

Back home: Gamini Amarakoon Amarakoon Mudiyanselage, the family acquaintance who was also killed in the attack, has a wife and two children who still live in Sri Lanka. He was working to support them, his mother, and his sister, CBC reported. The Sri Lankan High Commission said it was working to get the victims’ families to the country so they can attend the funeral of the family, scheduled for this week. 

In court: Febrio De-Zoysa, the 19-year-old charged with the murder of the six people — the mother, her four children, and a family acquaintance — appeared in court last week. He also faces a charge of attempted murder of the father. He was a student at Algonquin College. The father offered him a place to stay when he wasn’t able to find lodging elsewhere. De-Zoysa is expected back in court this week.

  • A hunting knife, or a similar blade, was used in the killings, sources told CTV. There is the possibility that more than one knife was used in the attack.

Injuries: The father, Dhanushka Wickramasinghe, lost a finger in the attack and sustained other hand injuries, as well as suffering a cut to his face, CTV reported. Friends said the father is still in shock, still struggling to comprehend the death of his family.

The family’s history in Ottawa: Wickramasinghe had been in the country since 2021. He’s worked two jobs, running a small cleaning business and driving an Uber. He brought his family to Canada last year when he moved into the Barrhaven home last summer, the Ottawa Citizen reported. Their youngest daughter was born two-and-a-half months ago in the city.

Fundraiser: The community has started a GoFundMe campaign to help out the families of the victims. So far, nearly $150,000 has been raised of the $200,000 goal. You can find out more at the GoFundMe page here.

Bylaw on scene: Bylaw officers were out in the neighbourhood issuing tickets on nearby streets during the vigil, Ottawa Citizen reporter Blair Crawford tweeted. While the vehicle shown with a ticket did not appear to have been an attendee’s vehicle, perhaps it was not the best time to be handing out tickets.

*Editor’s note: Due to incorrect information provided by police, some of the names of the victims were misspelled. The Lookout regrets the error.

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💉 $320: The price of the meningococcal B vaccine, a strain of the often deadly infection most common in the province. Other strains are covered by an OHIP-funded vaccine, but not the B version. [CBC]

💰 $12.5 million: Someone in Kingston won this much as their share of a recent Lotto Max jackpot. Another person in Brampton also had a winning ticket, splitting the $25-million prize in half. [CTV]

🔌 1,085: The number of Hydro Ottawa customers who were without power on Saturday afternoon in the city’s east end. [CTV]


With rents so high, some people are turning back to roommates

What happened: Houses are very expensive, rents are…also very expensive. For one woman in her 60s, the situation forced her to try something a bit different — roommates, CBC reported.

Having roommates, or co-living as it’s sometimes called, is one way to make the cost of housing more bearable. Pat Dunn founded a non-profit — Senior Women Living Together — told CBC she’s helped dozens of women find ways to live together as they age.

Some upsides: The benefits go beyond costs, as they’re able to share responsibilities, become friends, and even find ways to take care of one another. One key she’s found is to have agreements up front on how responsibilities in the house can be shared, even how much responsibility housemates are capable of taking on if one of them should become ill or injured.

  • If everyone knows the deal up front, it limits the potential for conflict down the road, she told the broadcaster.


Check out the new open positions in Ottawa.

  1. Digital project coordinator at Centretown Community Health Centre

  2. Product manager at NSERC

  3. Senior advisor of sustainability reporting at Canadian Air Transport Security Authority

  4. Investigations advisor (employee misconduct towards students) at the Ottawa Carleton District School Board

  5. Project manager at Aquatech Dewatering Company

Local jobs are selected by the Lookout team and are not paid ads, unless specifically noted. 


🚨 A 25-year-old woman died Saturday after being struck by three vehicles on the 417. It’s not clear why the woman walked onto the highway. [CTV]

💥 Firefighters had to rescue a trapped OC Transpo driver and several passengers after a bus ended up in the ditch of Leitrim Road after colliding with another vehicle in slippery conditions. [Ottawa Fire Service]

🌲 The provincial government has expanded the powers of the natural resources minister to allow them to overrule or bypass conservation authorities. The minister will have the power to instruct authorities to approve development applications and bypass environmental reviews. [The Narwhal]

🕳️ Ottawa police officers were called to a large pothole, which they dubbed an “infrastructure failure,” on Highway 174 at the 10th Line onramp. The pothole has since been patched. [CTV]

💐 In Hull, a 74-year-old man died in an apartment fire. Crews were able to get the fire under control before it damaged the whole building, and no one else was injured. [CBC]

🪧 People from across the region gathered in Ottawa for another march demanding a ceasefire in Gaza, and an end to arms shipments to the region. The weekend’s march was part of the National March for Gaza, and was one of the largest in the city so far. [CTV]

⚠️ A batch of drugs tainted with fentanyl is the likely cause of two deaths in Pembroke last week. Police and the local health unit are warning the public about the tainted drugs circulating in the community. [CTV]


What to do this week


🧶 Crochet 101, Tuesday 6 pm: Learn how to crochet or refresh your skills with help from instructors. Be sure to bring a crochet hook and a skein of yarn. At 2685 Iris St. Tickets $44.

🦋 Cyanotype Workshop, Saturday 11 am: Learn to make beautiful blue prints with sun and water. No experience or materials required. At 807 Merivale Rd. Tickets $134.

🎨 Starlight - Watercolour Workshop, Sunday 12 pm: An introduction to watercolour painting. All materials provided for adults of any skill level. At Art Haven Ceramic Cafe, 150 Katimavik Rd. Tickets $71.


🎤 D12 With Obie Trice, Thursday 7 pm: Famed rap group D12 come through town on their 20th anniversary tour, featuring Obie Trice and others. At the Bronson Centre. Tickets $42.

🎻 Young String Musicians in Concert, Saturday 7:30 pm: A concert put on by the YSPF of local string musicians under the age of 18. At the First Unitarian Church of Ottawa, 30 Cleary Ave. Tickets $7.


🚂 March Break at the Ingeniums, all week: All three Ingenium museums (Aviation, Agriculture, Science and Tech)  have special March Break programming on. Various locations. Prices vary.


🐄 Ottawa Valley Farm Show, Tuesday to Thursday: More than 300 exhibitors with all the latest in farm technology, a seed show, great food and plenty more. At the EY Centre, 4899 Uplands Dr. Tickets $12.

♟️ Ottawa Nostalgia and Collectibles Show, Saturday 9 am: More than 50 vendors with all sorts of great collectibles, from comics to pedal cars. At the Nepean Sportsplex, 1701 Woodroffe Ave. Tickets $8.

Capital EatsHelping you discover the best restaurants, food and drinks in Ottawa and the Capital Region. From the team at Ottawa Lookout. Read by 18,000+ locals.
  • Several extremely good boys and girls were celebrated at a graduation ceremony for therapy dogs at Carleton University. [CTV]

  • The Snes had a quiet trade deadline, making no significant moves. [Ottawa Sun]

  • Yeesh, roads were a bit on the slippery side this weekend. [Reddit]

  • The Rockcliffe Flying Club held a Meet a Pilot event for International Women’s Day where pilots and other women working in aviation were on hand to answer questions from eager young people. [CTV] 

  • Here’s a throwback to the early 90s, when the WWF rolled through the Civic Centre. [Reddit]

  • Want to have your announcement featured? Learn how here.


Congrats to all who got the answer to last week’s Ottawa Wordle, which was BALMY as in the weather…before it turned all Smarch-y again.

For this week’s Ottawa Quiz, we want to know…

What’s the name of the local conservation authority?

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