'I cannot just stay away': Bystanders rush to help fatal shooting victim

A man is dead after he was shot on Caldwell Avenue in the city's Carlington neighbourhood Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday death ruled Ottawa's 12th homicide of 2017

Hamzeh Serhan, a 20-year-old from Ottawa, has been identified as the city's 12th homicide victim of the year so far.

A man is dead after he was shot outside a townhouse complex on Caldwell Avenue in the city's Carlington neighbourhood Wednesday afternoon.

The shooting happened near 1500 Caldwell Ave. off Merivale Road just before 3:30 p.m.

Ottawa police confirmed they found the victim outside the townhouse complex. He underwent "aggressive resuscitation" on the way to hospital, according to Ottawa paramedics, but police later confirmed he died in hospital.

The man's identity has not yet been released. 

Bystanders tried to help

Witnesses told CBC News they saw people fleeing the scene and another small group of people trying to help the man. 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 a man 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.

Fabien Kalala's daughter was playing outside when the shooting happened. After getting her to safety, he helped provide first aid and administered CPR to the victim. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

Lost consciousness

Trained in first aid, Kalala said he tried to keep talking to the man but that he lost consciousness after a couple minutes.

Kalala began to administer CPR while others called 911. Minutes later, paramedics arrived at the scene and the man was taken 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'

His 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.

Kalala said he hopes the city and local politicians work to make the neighbourhood a better place.

Police Chief Charles Bordeleau and Coun. Riley Brocklington were at the scene of the homicide late Wednesday evening.

No arrests made

Another witness to the aftermath said she fears for her children's safety.

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 Wednesday 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 Matthew Kupfer