The gentlest soul you have ever met. A young man nicknamed Pancake for how he flattened opponents on the football field. A woman who fled from violence abroad only to have her family torn apart by it.
They were sons, mothers, best friends and big brothers.
Sixteen people were killed in Ottawa in 2021. Nine were shot and killed – all but one were racialized – in a year of record shootings in the city. Five people were stabbed and two were beaten.
The victims include 14 men and two women, both of whom were allegedly killed by a former intimate partner or a family member. Ten of the 16 victims were racialized.
Ottawa police have indicted 11 cases, closed a case in self-defense and continue to investigate four cases as unsolved.
The victims range in age from 16 – a boy killed while sleeping – to 64 – a harm reduction worker who gave of his time so thoughtfully.
In almost half of the cases, others were also injured but survived.
Mehdi El-Hajj Hassan, 20, was the “only man” in his family. He rose to status after his own father was killed when he was only four years old.
Police believe El-Hajj Hassan was driving in the southern end of the city around 3 a.m. on Jan. 16 when he was shot by a 17-year-old boy through the driver’s side window.
Police believe the accused in the case, charged with first-degree murder, carried out the shooting after he perceived that El-Hajj Hassan was insulting one of his friends who had died of an overdose of drugs.
His identity as an alleged young perpetrator is protected by a restraining order.
Leo Santostefano, 40, worked for years at venues across the city. He loved to laugh and cook.
His frozen body was found March 7 by a passerby on a secluded snowmobile trail off Dobson Lane, south of Richmond. No arrests have been made.
Carl Reinboth, 64, showed up to his community with a hug, a smoke or whatever else was needed. A former addict who worked as an outreach worker at the Somerset West Community Health Center, he was fatally stabbed to death in Chinatown on April 23.
Police claim that Honor Charley, 20, accidentally stabbed Reinboth before fleeing on foot. He is charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder and aggravated assault for allegedly stabbing an 84-year-old man at a nearby gas station after the murder.
Abdulqadir Yusuf, 22, was found without reacting inside a Hyundai Sonata in a parking lot in Palmerston Drive on May 26th. He had been shot. No arrests have been made.
Abdulaziz Abdullah, 34, and Mohamad Abdullah, 27, both were shot dead on May 28 in a packed parking lot in Alta Vista Drive. The third brother Fawaz Abdullah was also shot but survived his injuries.
It was a violent robbery of drugs and money in the Dominican Republic that led to a criminal underworld bounty that left two Ottawa brothers dead and another wounded, according to sources.
Police believe that Ottawa’s Abdullahi “Avon” Osman, 29, was part of the planning, but that the hired hands Ahmed “Baby Dice / Dice / Dicey” Siyad, 28, and Mohamed “Waldo” Shire, 31, both from Toronto, carried out the shooting. . All three are still wanted on Canada-wide arrest warrants for first-degree murder and attempted murder.
Warsama Youssouf, 27, was found in a parking lot in a mall on Cyrville Road that suffered gunshot wounds on May 30.
Hans was the fourth fatal shooting in the country’s capital in just five days. No arrests have been made.
Mikael Arjani, 34, was hit hard on May 4 in Vanier.
William Brown was originally charged with aggravated assault, but police upgraded the charge to manslaughter after Arjani died of his injuries nearly a month later.
Hanadi Mohammed, 50, was gentle but strong, and a fighter. Born and raised in Khartoum, Sudan, she both escaped the war-torn country and left a marriage in search of a better life for her children, safety and security.
She was stabbed to death when she returned to a townhouse on Baseline Road with groceries on the evening of June 15th.
Police charged her estranged husband Hamid Ayoub with first-degree murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing the couple’s adult daughter as well.
Loris Tyson Ndongonzi, 20, loved football and was with a hard-earned high school diploma in hand just a few weeks from starting on a football scholarship in Quebec when he was shot and killed on July 4th. His 18-year-old friend was also shot, but survived his injuries.
Haybe Farhan Aden is wanted on a Canadian arrest warrant for second-degree murder and attempted murder.
Avery Houghton, 25, had a sharp wit and loved clever humor. He never shyed away from sharing stories and his insights with those he loved.
He was stabbed to death on July 22 inside his basement apartment on Sherry Lane.
Police charged Nicholas Cox and Erick Silva-Stone with second-degree murder.
Eric Hewer, 19, had just moved to Ottawa from Nova Scotia to work when he was out celebrating his birthday and became involved in an altercation with his friend and three teenage boys on e-scooters on July 26th.
Hewer was stabbed to death and his friend injured. Police declined to raise charges, saying they believe the 16-year-old boy who stabbed Hewer acted in self-defense.
Zakaria Sheek-Hussein, 27, was severely beaten inside the Ottawa Jail on Feb. 24. He died in late July.
Hans was the third prison murder in the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Center since 2018.
Police charged Donald Musselman, who was sitting in jail awaiting trial for murder in an unrelated 2019 case, with second-degree murder.
Creflo Tansia, 18, was his family’s baby. He was shot on August 10 in Lowertown and died the next morning at the hospital. Another 18-year-old man was also shot, but survived his injuries.
Police charged a 17-year-old boy with first-degree murder.
Linda Frederick, 64, was affectionately known as “Lindi Lou.” She was a devoted mother to her two children, living the lives of her children and enduring through the struggle to raise a son with mental illness. She was stabbed to death inside her Sherway Drive home.
Frederick’s son Conor Donnelly, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, has been charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing his stepfather as well.
John Ndayishimiye, 16, lived a short life marked by violence. But through it all, those who knew him said that he showed courage – to mention a killer in the murder of his friend, to be a warrior on the football field and dream big.
He was shot on the morning of Dec. 6 on Elmira Drive while sleeping. Another 16-year-old boy was also injured in the shooting.
No arrests have been made.