Ottawa

'Pulled the trigger and caused the carnage': Ottawa accused defends himself in double-murder trial

Alam Buoc is representing himself in a jury trial on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in the July 2017 triple shooting of men that were once his friends. 

Alam Buoc has pleaded not guilty to 3 charges in July 2017 triple shooting

Alam Buoc, left, was 30 when he allegedly killed two former friends, and shot another. (Ottawa Police Service, Andrew Foote/CBC)

"You just need time to die."

Those were the words of a man who killed two of his friends, and was closing in on a third who was fleeing him after a morning of "carnage," prosecutors told an Ottawa jury in the first-degree murder trial of Alam Buoc this week.

Buoc, who is representing himself, pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in the July 2017 triple-shooting of men who were once his friends.

The fatal night began at a Kanata bar with Talal Al-Shammari, his brother Abdulrahman Al-Shammari, Dirie Olol and Buoc. The four men all grew up in the same neighbourhood.

By morning, two would be dead, a third would be in hospital "on the brink of death," and Buoc would rush to get a passport and try to flee to Sudan, the jury was told by Assistant Crown Attorney Stephen Albers, who is prosecuting the case along with James Cavanagh.

At some point after they left the bar, all four men ended up at Buoc's apartment where the accused showed his friends two guns in his possession. Talal and Olol would pose for joking pictures with the guns, what Albers called "now-haunting" photos of the hours before the mood turned sinister and deadly.

"At some point in the early morning hours, the mood changed," Albers said. "Mr. Buoc began accusing the other three men of stealing one of his bullets."

Friends protested against bullet theft allegation

The friends denied they took the ammunition, but Buoc refused to believe them and searched Talal and Olol. He found nothing.

The men decided to leave the apartment and Abdulrahman got behind the wheel of his white Mazda 3. Olol jumped into the passenger seat, and Talal sat in the back. Buoc followed them, Albers said, and hopped in the back, too.

Sometime before 7 a.m., Buoc asked again who stole his bullet, with the others denying anyone had taken anything.

Albers told the jury they'd hear that Buoc said "This is why I came here," before sliding a magazine into a handgun, racking the slide and shooting his three friends.

Abdulrahman was shot through his neck. He got out of the car and stumbled to a driveway on Tavistock Drive, where he collapsed.

Olol was shot through the back of his head and the bullet became lodged in the glove box. His body would remain in the idling vehicle for hours until neighbours in the area of Aylen and Wayne avenues reported it to police, who then made the gruesome discovery.

Talal was shot in the neck and shoulder. He passed out but quickly came to and realized he was trapped with Buoc, the assailant, in the back seat.

They struggled, Albers said, until they both tumbled out of the driver's side door.

Talal pleaded with his brother's killer: "Please don't do this, I love you." Buoc's only reply was firing off another bullet, Albers said. Talal pushed the gun away and was shot in the hand.

Talal ran and eventually flagged down a newspaper delivery man who was returning home from his morning of work. That man took him to hospital where Talal underwent "surgery after surgery."

Accused booked plane ticket to Sudan

Prosecutors argued Buoc's plan to get away with double murder began while Talal was still in surgery. 

"Buoc made his way to Gatineau. There he had a passport photo done at the Walmart Photo Centre. He then went to the passport office in Gatineau and applied for an expedited passport to be picked up within 48 hours," Albers said.

From there, Buoc went to see a travel agent and booked a plane ticket to Sudan.

"He wanted a flight leaving as soon as possible."

He was arrested by Ottawa police an hour and 40 minutes before take-off.

Prosecutors intend to call nearly 40 witnesses including the civilians who found the victims, police and medical experts. The jury will also hear from the surviving victim who lived to tell the tale, Albers said.

"One cannot fathom the horror of witnessing your friend, and your own brother, murdered before your eyes. On top of this, one can only imagine the shock and pain of being shot three times, going into an induced coma, and undergoing multiple surgeries. All at the hands of a man he considered his friend," Albers said.

"He will tell you that Alam Buoc is the person who pulled the trigger and caused the carnage that followed that morning."

The trial continues in front of Superior Court Justice Robert Maranger.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shaamini Yogaretnam

CBC Ottawa reporter

Shaamini Yogaretnam is CBC Ottawa's justice, crime and police reporter. She has spent nearly a decade covering crime in the nation's capital. You can reach her at shaamini.yogaretnam@cbc.ca or 613-220-2486. You can find her on Twitter at @shaaminiwhy

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