The recent deadly shooting outside a wedding reception in Ottawa’s south end, which led to the death of two men and injured six others, was not aimed at the victims, according to the Ottawa police. In what investigators are calling a “targeted shooting,” the focus was allegedly on individuals believed to be attending one of the two weddings inside the Infinity Convention Centre on Saturday night. However, the approximately 50 rounds discharged unintentionally hit innocent bystanders outside the venue.
Consequently, the authorities have made a public plea, urging anyone with relevant information or anyone who was present during the events at the convention centre to actively collaborate in the investigation. “We are urging the public and wedding attendees to assist us in progressing this investigation,” disclosed Ottawa Police Chief Eric Stubbs, emphasizing the need for collective effort to resolve the case, which he characterized as intricate and challenging.
Toronto residents, Said Mohamed Ali, 26, and Abdishakur Abdi-Dahir, 29, tragically lost their lives due to the shooting, while six more individuals suffered injuries. On the night of the incident, the 911 emergency line fielded multiple calls at approximately 10:21 p.m., reporting the shooting incident at the convention centre on Gibford Drive. According to Deputy Chief Trish Ferguson, roughly 50 bullets were fired during the shooting, and the assailant or assailants fled the scene immediately afterward.
In revisiting the unfortunate event, Ferguson asserted, “This was a targeted assault aimed at individuals who were believed to be attending one of the weddings. However, we don’t believe that any of the victims were the intended targets. Additionally, we have found no evidence to indicate this was a hate-driven crime.”
Speculation is that the premeditated attack is linked to gang activity. Nonetheless, as of Wednesday afternoon, no suspect or vehicle descriptions were provided by the police. Given the two wedding events held at the Infinity Convention Centre that Saturday night, Ferguson voiced hope that someone possesses information useful in resolving this horrendous act.
Ferguson further asserted, “We are aware that many eyewitnesses who were present have not come forward or may possess more information than what they originally shared with the authorities.”
Five of the six injured individuals have already been discharged from the hospital, having received treatment for their injuries. Two of the injured attendees traveled all the way from Ohio to be part of the wedding ceremony.
Stubbs informed CTV News Ottawa on Sunday that a prospective link to gang activity has been “investigated thoroughly.” However, the police have refrained from disclosing the exact number of shooters involved in the incident.
According to Superintendent Jamie Dunlop, the authorities are dealing with “conflicting evidence and contradictory accounts,” thus necessitating the need for witnesses. He urged anyone with recordings such as cellphone, dashcam, security video footage captured between 10:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., to reach out to the Ottawa Police Service Homicide Unit.
The police later released additional information about the deceased victims. Ali, who arrived in Canada a mere four months ago, was eager to start a new life, while Abdi-Dahir had just initiated a career in engineering. Ferguson ended the report, sadly reflecting, “Their lives were cut short, leaving friends and families to grieve and search for answers.”