Ottawa

Ottawa man charged with killing wife, injuring daughter

Hamid Ayoub, 54, has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing his wife and daughter in Ottawa Tuesday night.

Hamid Ayoub, 54, allegedly stabbed his wife and adult daughter Tuesday night

Police arrested Hamid Ayoub on Tuesday night after releasing this image to the public. (Ottawa Police Service)

An Ottawa man has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing his wife and daughter in what police are investigating as an act of intimate-partner violence.

Hamid Ayoub, 54, was arrested late Tuesday night after police believe he fatally stabbed his wife, Hanadi Mohammed, 50, and adult daughter. His daughter is expected to survive her injuries. CBC News is not naming her.

Just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, Ottawa police officers responded to the scene of the stabbing at a townhouse at 1814 Baseline Rd. near Algonquin College.

According to sources, Ayoub parked across the street from the townhouse in the parking lot of a nearby convenience store. That parking lot remained part of a second scene taped off by police on Tuesday.

Wife sought restraining order, friend says

Ayoub and Mohammed have two adult children — a daughter who was injured in the alleged attack, and a son. Both are in their 20s.

Ayoub had not been living with his estranged wife for approximately a year, according to a family friend who asked to remain anonymous given the impact of the alleged crime on the surviving children and the community.  

Mohammed had also tried to obtain a restraining order against her husband nearly three months ago due to incidents of violence and stalking, the family friend said. Mohammed's grieving family now wonders why police were unable to help her, the friend added. 

In May, according to police sources, Ottawa police did respond to a 911 call allegedly involving an altercation between Ayoub and Mohammed. No charges were laid at the time and Ayoub was not taken into custody.

Ayoub has no previous criminal record in Ontario.

Police taped off this area near the 1800 block of Baseline Road in Ottawa as they investigated a double stabbing. (Joe Tunney/CBC)

Victim had 'warmest of smiles,' says community

In a GoFundMe fundraiser set up on behalf of Mohammed's children to raise funeral costs, organizers representing both the Sudanese and Muslim communities called her a "victim of a horrifying attack."

Mohammed was born and raised in Khartoum, Sudan, according to the fundraiser, and "came to this country to escape the growing conflict in Sudan and in search of a better life."

"She would greet all with the warmest of smiles and was such a calm and understanding person that hardly ever could we catch her in a bad mood," organizers said.

"In spite of her gentleness, Hanadi was strong enough to be able to fight for herself and her children. In the cruellest of fate, it was this attempt to seek safety and security that ultimately cost her life. She did all the right things, she fought her hardest and, in all honesty, she should still be with us right now."

Accused fled scene before arrest, police say

After the stabbings Tuesday, police allege Ayoub fled the scene in a black Nissan Sentra. By 9:30 p.m., police released images of the man and warned the public he was considered armed. A short time later, police arrested Ayoub.

According to his website and two Facebook profiles, Ayoub is a self-employed artist who was born in Sudan in 1967. He is currently a master's candidate in art therapy at Concordia University. He has worked as an art instructor at both the Nepean Arts Centre and the Ottawa School of Art.

According to a 2008 Ottawa Citizen article profiling newcomer Canadian artists, Ayoub came to Canada as a refugee in 2001. His contact address on his website is listed as a home on Edgeworth Avenue in Ottawa's Woodpark neighbourhood.

Brief court appearance Wednesday

Ayoub appeared briefly in court Wednesday afternoon via video from the Ottawa police cell block on Elgin Street. He was ordered not to contact a list of witnesses in the case, including his two adult children.

Justice of the Peace Karen Baum repeatedly asked Ayoub if he understood he was charged with murder. He said he didn't understand the question. Baum suggested he might need an interpreter, to which his lawyer replied his client appeared to be exerting his right to remain silent.

Ayoub is being represented by lawyers Omar Abou El Hassan and Leo Russomanno, who declined to comment on the charges against their client.

Ayoub is scheduled to appear in court again on June 23.

Police want anyone with information on the stabbings to call the homicide unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5493.

Ottawa police officers blocked off a convenience store parking lot where they say the suspect parked before allegedly stabbing his wife and daughter. (Joe Tunney/CBC News)

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.

now