Ottawa Police Service officers surround a home after four children and two Blair Gable/Reuters

19-year-old charged with murder of 6, including 4 children, in Canada

"There are a lot of questions about why this tragedy occurred."

By Aleem Agha and Ellie Kaufman |

A 19-year-old Sri Lankan national has been arrested and charged with the alleged murders of six people, including four children, in Ottawa, Canada, Ottawa police said at a press conference Thursday.

Frank Desouza, believed to be studying in Canada, has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder, Ottawa police said.

Ottawa police were called to the crime scene at about 11 p.m. local time on Wednesday. The police received two 911 calls reporting a suspicious incident. When police arrived at the scene, officers quickly identified and arrested the suspect “without incident,” Ottawa Deputy Police Chief Trish Ferguson said during Thursday’s press conference.

After police arrested Desouza, they entered the house, where they discovered the six deceased, the youngest of which was less than 3 months old.

“The family were newcomers to Canada and are originally from Sri Lanka,” Ferguson said.

The victims are Darshani Banbaranayake Gama Walwwe Darshani Dilanthika Ekanyake, 35, Amarakoonmubiayansela Ge Gamini Amarakoon, 40, Inuka Wickramasinghe, 7, Ashwini Wickramasinghe, 4, Rinyana Wickramasinghe, 2, and Kelly Wickramasinghe, 2 months old, Ottawa police said in a release.

The motive of the crime is not yet known and is the focus of the law enforcement investigation, police said.

“There are a lot of questions about why this tragedy occurred. This is the focus of our homicide unit as a diligently investigate this tragic crime,” Ferguson said.

“Our investigators and forensic teams are working very hard to determine all of the facts and ensure justice is done but that also means we must maintain the integrity of the investigation for court,” she added.

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