OTTAWA — Two men were fatally shot and six other people were wounded after a gunman opened fire during a wedding reception in Canada’s capital city on Saturday night, authorities said.
According to a news release from the Ottawa Police Department on Sunday, Toronto residents Said Mohamed Ali, 26, and Abdishakur Abdi-Dahir, 29, were killed at the reception at the Infinity Convention Centre, the Ottawa Citizen reported.
The six people who were wounded had injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening, according to the newspaper.
According to police, the shooting occurred at about 10:20 p.m. EDT outside the convention center, CTV News reported. Residents living nearby said they heard between 20 and 25 gunshots, according to the news outlet.
The wedding reception was attended by members of the Somali community from Ottawa and other cities, The Globe and Mail of Toronto reported.
“At this stage, there is no indication that this was a hate-motivated shooting,” Ottawa police said in their news release.
“Last night an incident occurred that can not be described as anything less than a tragedy,” officials with the convention center told CTV news in a statement. “Our hearts break for the victims and their families. The members of the Infinity Convention Centre are actively assisting local authorities and their investigation. No other comments will be provided while the investigation is ongoing.”
Ottawa police Chief Eric Stubbs visited the investigation scene Sunday, He told CTV News that the “guns and gangs connection is being examined thoroughly in this instance.”
Jessica Bradley, Councillor for Gloucester-Southgate ward, called the shooting “a very tragic incident at a wedding of all occasions.”
“One shooting in a community is too many,” Bradley said. “Whether it’s related or not related, this is in our backyard and people are feeling anxious. I spoke to (Stubbs) for two hours on Thursday to talk about this issue and what he needs from us.
“I want the public to know that we do live in a safe community despite all of the incidents we have seen. “(But) there is no comforting messaging right now.”
The homicides were Ottawa’s 11th and 12th of 2023, the Citizen reported.
No arrests have been made, police said. An investigation is ongoing.
“This violence is tragic and unacceptable,” police said in its news release. “It is disturbing for our entire community.”