Police in Canada investigating deaths of 6 people at a house in Ottawa. A suspect has been arrested

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Police in Ottawa on Thursday were investigating a suspected multiple homicide after the deaths of two adults and four children at a home in the southern part of the Canadian capital.

A seventh person was in hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. It was not immediately announced how the victims died Wednesday, but Ottawa’s mayor called the case a “multiple homicide” and police said a suspect had been arrested.

The Sri Lankan High Commission in Ottawa said the victims were a family of Sri Lankan nationals. The high commission said the father survived but his wife and children died, adding that it is in contact with relatives in the country’s capital Colombo.

Canadian authorities have not confirmed the identity of the deceased, their age or the identity of the person in the hospital.

Police were called to the house in the Barrhaven area on Wednesday evening around 11pm. A suspect was arrested shortly afterwards and police said there was no ongoing threat to public safety.

Ottawa Police Chief Eric Stubbs told local radio stations that police do not believe the deaths are the result of domestic or intimate partner violence, but they are also still trying to determine the relationship between the suspect and the victims.

Stubbs said it was a “very tragic scene.”

Don Perera, a neighbor, said he met the family who lived in the house last fall at a Halloween party at the nearby Catholic elementary school. He said the father was from Sri Lanka.

Shanti Ramesh, who lives across the street, was alerted to a commotion late Wednesday. From her balcony she saw a man sitting in the driveway of the house and shouting before two police officers arrived and carried him away.

On Thursday morning, five marked police cars were parked on the street and in driveways near the house, which is a middle unit of a row of brick townhouses.

Several people in white overalls walked in and out of the house throughout the morning, as parents and children walked and cycled past on their way to a nearby primary school.

Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe called the news disturbing for all residents of the city.

“I was devastated to learn of the multiple murder in Barrhaven, one of the most shocking incidents of violence in our city’s history,” Sutcliffe said in a post on X.

Police said a media update would be provided later Thursday.

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