Ottawa

Police investigating shooting at cemetery at the time of funeral for Banff Avenue homicide victim

Ottawa police are investigating after a man arrived at hospital with a gunshot wound following reports of shots fired at a cemetery while the funeral for another shooting victim was underway.

A man arrived at hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, say police

A police vehicle sits next to a sign that reads Ottawa Muslim Cemetery.
A police vehicle parked by the entrance of Ottawa Muslim Cemetery. Police are investigating after reports of shots fired shortly after 3 p.m., on Friday. One man is in hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

Ottawa police are investigating after a man arrived at hospital with a gunshot wound following reports of shots fired at a cemetery while the funeral for another shooting victim was underway.

Multiple 911 calls brought police to the Ottawa Muslim Cemetery on South Manotick Road around 2:45 p.m. Friday.

"At the time of the shooting, a funeral for a victim of homicide on Tuesday of this week was underway," police said in a media release Friday evening.

Police sources told CBC a funeral service was held Friday for 24-year-old Abdulhamid Haji Ragab, who died earlier this week in a fatal shooting at a south Ottawa community housing neighbourhood.

Chawn Lemieux appeared in court Friday in connection to that incident. He's charged with one count of second-degree murder and was remanded into custody.

Shortly after officers arrived at the cemetery Friday, a man with a "non-life threatening" gunshot wound arrived at hospital, police said.

A spokesperson for Ottawa Paramedic Service said it sent multiple vehicles to the shooting site, but police cancelled them before they arrived at the scene.

Several police units are now involved in the investigation and searching for the suspect, according to the media release.

Cruisers were blocking off the entrance to the cemetery after 4 p.m., and officers turned away cars trying to enter the area. A CBC reporter heard one officer telling a driver "it's a crime scene," as they turned them away.

Yaser Afaneh and his wife Eman said they stop at the cemetery every Friday to pray and leave flowers at the grave of their son who died in a skydiving incident a year ago.

On Friday they found the visit that "relaxes them" blocked by police.

A man in a black T-shirt looks through a car window, past a woman holding a bouquet of flowers.
Yaser Afaneh and his wife Eman said they visit the Ottawa Muslim Cemetery every week to bring flowers and pray at their son's grave. On July 8 they found the gate blocked by police. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

"Now it looks like the cemetery is an area for investigation of that crime," said Yaser Afaneh, adding the couple found it a bit of a shock.

"This frees us from our sadness and pressure," he said of their regular visit. "Today it looks like we're not going to do this."

Police said their investigation and search meant some people weren't able to immediately leave the area, adding the service apologizes for the inconvenience.

Police have asked people to avoid the area.

With files from Guy Quenneville

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