Authorities in Ottawa said that a shooting in the parking lot of a wedding venue left two individuals dead and six others injured.
When shooting broke out outside the venue during two wedding ceremonies, stunned guests fled for cover.
“It was chaos; there was no general direction of where people were running; it was just everywhere,” Nico, who arrived at the wedding to pick up his friend, told AFP while declining to disclose his last name.
Nico recalled, “It was quick shots, then screams, then a lull, and then there were more shots, probably about 15 or 16 more shots that I can remember.
The shooting started at 10:21 on Saturday (02:21 on Sunday GMT) in the parking lot of a convention center in the south end that was hosting two distinct wedding parties at the same time.
The witness claimed that police “told us to stay in our cars and that we couldn’t leave the scene.” The fatalities were two guys, both from Toronto, the largest city in Canada, and they were 26 and 29 years old, according to Ottawa police.
The six injured, according to the police, included Americans, although their lives were not in danger. They kept their identities a secret.
Martin Groulx, a police inspector, explained the current state of the inquiry to AFP:
“We are in the process of connecting the pieces of the puzzle.” He claimed that at the time the incident occurred, there was no evidence from the police that it was a hate crime “related to race or religious beliefs.” He continued, “But we do not eliminate this option,” adding that the investigation had not yet established a motive.
There had been no arrests as of Sunday afternoon. The two fatalities from the shooting bring Ottawa, Canada’s capital, which has a population of around one million, to 12 homicides thus far in 2023.
The Canadian government reports that there has been a noticeable rise in shootings in several Canadian cities over the past few years. Violent gun crime has increased by 81 percent nationwide since 2009.