Caldwell Ave. homicide victim identified as Hamzeh Serhan, 20
Wednesday shooting death is Ottawa's 12th homicide so far this year
The young man shot to death on Caldwell Avenue in Ottawa's Carlington neighbourhood in broad daylight Wednesday has been identified as Hamzeh Serhan.
The 20-year-old, who is known to police, was found outside a townhouse complex near 1500 Caldwell Ave., off Merivale Road, just before 3:30 p.m.
He was taken to hospital by paramedics, where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators believe there are several people who witnessed the shooting, but who are not coming forward.
Serhan has a criminal record, and received one year of probation after being found guilty of obstructing a peace officer in June 2016.
More recently, he was charged with possession of a drug for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a drug and possession of stolen property, but all three charges were withdrawn in May.
'All my force, on his chest'
Witnesses told CBC News they saw people fleeing the scene and another small group of people trying to help Serhan after the shooting. Among them was Fabien Kalala, who used to live in the area and was visiting relatives Wednesday afternoon.
Kalala's three-year-old daughter was playing outside when he said he heard a burst of four gunshots. He brought her and other children to safety, then heard more gunfire and decided to intervene.
"I cannot just stay away, watching from far. That's why I got involved," he said.
Kalala saw Serhan conscious and bleeding on the ground.
"It was bloody for sure, but my first instinct was to keep the person alive and to try to put as much pressure, all my force, on his chest to keep the blood circulating in his body," he said.
Trained in first aid, Kalala said he tried to keep talking to Serhan but that the victim lost consciousness after a couple minutes.
Kalala began to administer CPR while others called 911. Minutes later, paramedics arrived and took Serhan to hospital.
The adrenaline Kalala had been feeling wore off when he heard the man had died.
"Everything we did, everything we tried," he said. "I present my condolences to the family. I don't know the person."
'My daughter is still in shock'
Kalala's daughter has been traumatized by the incident, he said, and told him she doesn't want to return to the neighbourhood.
"My daughter is still in shock. She's three years old, I didn't want her to see something like this. I hope she won't keep that image that this place, Ottawa or Caldwell, is a bad place," he said.
He hopes the city and local politicians work to make the neighbourhood a better place, he said.
Another witness to the aftermath said she fears for her children's safety.
No arrests, suspects
Manouche Maguy Moke told CBC News she's felt unsafe for four years living in the community housing building, but today was the final straw.
"It changed how I feel about this neighbourhood, I'm scared," she said. "You're with somebody today and tomorrow the person is gone."
Moke decided not to let her son go to an after-school program Wednesday since the shooting happened around the time children come home from school.
No arrests had been made as of Thursday morning and police said they hadn't yet identified any suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call police.
The fatal shooting is the 12th homicide in Ottawa so far this year.
With files from Judy Trinh, Matthew Kupfer