Killing in Ottawa | The suspect does not ask to be released on bail

(Ottawa) The 19-year-old Sri Lankan national accused in the massacre of a newly arrived family in Ottawa does not plan to seek bail, his lawyer said.

Febrio De-Zoysa was arrested and charged in early March with six counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder after police found the family dead in a townhouse in the neighborhood of Barrhaven.

He remains in custody and his lawyer, Ewan Lyttle, told The Canadian Press “there are currently no plans to apply for bail.”

The young man, who was in Canada as an international student, is expected to return to court next week, where lawyers plan to set dates for the preliminary inquiry in his case.

Investigators say the individual is responsible for the deaths of Darshani Ekanayake, 35, and her four children, aged two months to seven years, as well as a family friend.

They believe the family was attacked with a knife or “another bladed weapon”.

Investigation at Algonquin College

As neighbors and Ottawa residents learned the first details of the killing, staff at Algonquin College in Ottawa were investigating possible links to the school.

The college president asked his staff to look into the matter after Ottawa Police Chief Eric Stubbs revealed at a news conference that Febrio De-Zoysa was an international student.

“Do we know where the suspect was studying? », Wrote Claude Brulé in an email addressed to a colleague in the afternoon.

The Canadian Press obtained the emails through a freedom of information request.

“He last attended classes in January 2023,” another Algonquin College staff member responded a few hours later.

The next day, Bruce Hickey, the college’s communications manager, said they had asked a colleague “to pass the names of the two deceased adults from Barrhaven into our system.”

The exact program Febrio De-Zoysa was enrolled in was redacted in the documents, as was most other personal information such as his addresses, date of birth and student number.

In a statement released Thursday, Mr. Hickey said emails showed vocational school staff responded to “numerous media inquiries” about the tragedy.

He did not answer questions about why the school sought the names of the adult victims or whether the school has been in contact with investigators about the information they found.

Sri Lankan nationals at the center of the drama

All of the victims found in the house, except the youngest child, were Sri Lankan nationals who had arrived in the city in recent years.

The family friend, Gamini Amarakoon Amarakoon Mudiyanselage, 40, had a wife and two children living in Sri Lanka, according to leaders of a Buddhist temple frequented by the family.

Police said Febrio De-Zoysa lived in the family’s rented townhouse, and a monk at the temple said the young man suffered from mental illness.

The only survivor of the alleged attack is Dhanushka Wickramasinghe, the father of the family, who was taken to hospital with injuries to his hands and face.

He has since been discharged and asked for his privacy to be respected as he mourns the loss of his family.

Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe called the killings “one of the most shocking incidents of violence” in the city’s history.

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