Two men from Toronto met a tragic end in an evening shooting outside the Infinity Convention Centre situated in Ottawa’s south end. The unfortunate incident occurred while the victims were attending a wedding.
The emergency services promptly responded to the report of the gunfire, which broke out in the 2900 block of Gibford Drive, close to Uplands Drive and Hunt Club Road, at around 10:20 p.m. on Saturday. The shooting transpired outside the convention centre, leaving six others wounded. The incident rattled the neighbourhood residents, who reported hearing between 20 to 25 gunshots.
In a statement, the Ottawa police termed the violence as tragic and unacceptable, voicing the disturbance it caused the local community. The authorities assured their full support to the victims’ families through communication with community leaders.
The police later identified the deceased as Said Mohamed Ali, a 26-year-old man, and Abdishakur Abdi-Dahir, aged 29, both originally from Toronto.
The investigation has so far not yielded any arrests related to the shooting, nor has there been a revelation of a possible suspect. At this stage, the police have ruled out a hate-motivated attack but are leaving no stone unturned, exploring all investigative angles.
Addressing the brief, Ottawa Police Chief Eric Stubbs shared that the possible ties to gang activity are being thoroughly examined. The authorities are keen on securing and reviewing surveillance footage from the vicinity, including the convention centre and near businesses. There is an active public appeal for any noteworthy visuals from their personal cameras to assist the ongoing investigation.
The Chief said that once a suspect description is available, the public would be promptly informed. Meanwhile, they are seeking anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward. The appeal also extends to individuals possessing cellphone, dashcam or security video footage recorded in the area from 10 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. who are requested to contact the Ottawa Police Service Homicide Unit.
The incident, Ottawa’s 11th and 12th homicides for 2023, left six others injured, details about whom are yet unavailable.
With intercity collaboration being key according to Chief Stubbs, the Ottawa Police Service maintains robust ties with other city police forces like Toronto, and the OPP to address such multi-jurisdictional cases. He further emphasized their ongoing active interactions with the OPP, the Toronto Police Service and the GTA agencies on multiple files.
The Infinity Convention Centre, venerating their commitment to assist local authorities in the investigation, termed the incident as an indescribable tragedy. The Centre expressed their heartfelt condolences towards the victims and their families.
Jessica Bradley, Gloucester-Southgate Coun., representing the area where the shooting occurred, relayed her conversation with the Ottawa Police Chief. She conveyed the assurance from the authorities that there was no imminent threat to the public. Concluding her statement, she empathized with her constituents, pledging to offer any required resources and support amidst the aftermath of the unfortunate event.