Targeted or not, daylight shooting rattles residents
Ashor Anwia, 24, killed Wednesday in shooting near school, park
Residents of Ottawa's Hunt Club Park neighbourhood are taking cold comfort in the knowledge that Wednesday's fatal shooting was "targeted," and are calling for more police resources to help reduce gun violence in the area.
Ottawa police have identified Ashor Anwia, 24, as the victim of the shooting, which occurred near the intersection of Blohm Drive and Woodbury Cresent, near Robert Bateman Public School and Elizabeth Manley Park. Officers were called to the scene around 2:45 p.m. after receiving multiple reports of gunshots.
Any time there's a shooting in the area it's a serious issue because there are bystanders around.- Paul Norris, Hunt Club Park Community Association
Police described the shooting as targeted, and said there's no ongoing threat to public safety.
But Paul Norris, president of the Hunt Club Park Community Association, said that does little to ease fears in the neighbourhood.
"The idea that it was a targeted shooting, to me it's a non-starter. Any time there's a shooting in the area it's a serious issue because there are bystanders around," Norris said.
"We've had a number of incidents in the area over the past couple of years. The fact that it was so brazen — during the day, near a school — it's very upsetting," Norris said.
Norris said the community wants police to devote more resources to the ongoing guns and gangs problem.
No random act, police say
According to spokesperson Const. Amy Gagnon, police label some shootings as targeted to distinguish them from random acts of violence.
"'Targeted' is an incident where it was either a fight or something that led up to the shooting. It was not a random shooting," she said.
"We do acknowledge that the suspect or suspects are outstanding. That, in and of itself, is a concern for the public. That's why we're working very hard to identify and locate the suspects."
Gagnon said investigators are still trying to piece together what led to the shooting.
Extra police patrols
Police began clearing the shooting scene early Thursday afternoon, nearly 24 hours after the incident.
Gagnon said residents will see an increased police presence in the neighbourhood, and said a school resource officer has visited Robert Bateman Public School.
My office is working with <a href="https://twitter.com/OttawaPolice?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@OttawaPolice</a> to keep the community updated on the shooting in Hunt Club Park. While the shooting was targeted, we cannot minimize gun violence in our city & we need to continue working with OPS & partners to reduce violent crime in our communities. 1/2—@dianedeans
The community association welcomed the increased police presence, and is encouraging residents to join the Neighbourhood Watch program and report suspicious activity.
Gagnon said Ottawa police are still in the early stages of the investigation, and encouraged anyone with information about the shooting to come forward.