A city symposium on gang-related violence got underway at City Hall on Wednesday evening to address this year's spike in gang shootings.

"This is not just a police issue. … Alone, we cannot do it," said Coun. Eli El-Chantiry, chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board, during Wednesday night's symposium.

"We do live in a safe city. But the issue of gangs and the crime and violence associated with it is a trend that we must pay attention to, and address this head on," said police Chief Charles Bordeleau.

"All of us in this room have a part to play in ensuring more of our city's youth are steered away from this deadly lifestyle," Bordeleau said.

Gang symposium continues Thursday


Sarah Labib said Levy Kasende was known to stick up for people. (CBC)

The symposium continues Thursday.

Meanwhile, major crimes investigators continue to look into the August gang-related shooting death of 22-year-old Levy Kasende.

Police sources told CBC News the motive for the shooting stemmed from another shooting on July 1, 2010.

The sources said that on the corner of Rideau and Nelson streets, Kasende got into an argument with a known gang member and drug dealer, and that Kasende shot him three times in the arm and shoulder.

On Aug. 25 this year just before 1 a.m., Kasende was shot multiple times in the back in a drive-by shooting in Blackburn Hamlet.

Family and friends said Kasende was never a gang member, but grew up surrounded by gang violence.

Sarah Labib, the mother of Kasende's young child, said Kasende was known to stand up for his friends.

No arrests made, police looking for suspects


Ottawa police Insp. John Maxwell said he doesn't want Ottawa's streets to be dominated by gang activity. (CBC)

"He always felt like he had to protect everyone. Always felt like, if you weren't going to speak up for yourself, then I'm going to speak up for you," Labib said.

Police sources believe they're looking for at least two, and possibly three suspects: A driver, a shooter, and a suspect who drove a getaway car after a Mazda MPV van they were driving was torched less than an hour after the shooting.

Police haven't made any arrests.

"Somebody's dead, somebody's passed away, they were murdered, there could have been a lot of others," said Insp. John Maxwell. "I don't want Ottawa to become a city where gangs rule the streets."