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Vigil for victims of Ottawa’s mass stabbing takes place Saturday

A candlelight vigil for the six victims who were tragically killed in Barrhaven on Wednesday night is taking place Saturday.

It started at 11 a.m. in Palmadeo Park in Barrhaven, near the home where they were killed.

A mother, her four young children and a family acquaintance were killed at their family home on Berrigan Drive in Barrhaven. A 19-year-old international student, who was living with the family, is facing six counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

Ottawa police investigative sources tell CTV News at this point they’re trying to determine if one or multiple knives were used in the attack.

On Wednesday, officers responding to a 911 call found the bodies of six people inside the home. The suspect was arrested inside the house without incident.

The victims have been identified as 35-year-old Banbaranayake Gama Walwwe Darshani Dilanthika Ekanyake and her four children – Kelly, Ranaya, Ashwini and Inuka. A family acquaintance, 40-year-old Gamini Amarakoon Amarakoon Mudiyanselage, was also found deceased at the home.

Police say the family were newcomers to Canada from Sri Lanka.

Court documents identify the surviving father as Dhanushka Wickramasinghe, who is continuing to recover in hospital.

The father is in “great shock,” Bhante Suneetha, resident monk at the Hilda Jayewardenaramaya Buddhist Monastery, told The Canadian Press.

Speaking to CTV News Ottawa’s Natalie van Rooy, Suneetha said the eldest Wickramasinghe child, Inuka, was enrolled in classes there.

“Last Sunday was his first class,” Suneetha said. “Very bright and courageous for a little boy. He had a beautiful future.”

Suneetha, who visited the father on Thursday in hospital, said he was attacked while returning home from his evening cleaning job.

“He lost half of his finger. Two fingers damaged, big cut to his face,” Suneetha said. “The suspect didn’t have a place to stay. The father said, ‘You can stay in my basement.'”

Wickramasinghe, Suneetha said, came to Canada as an Algonquin College student. After he got his diploma, he got his work permit and brought his family here.

The father also worked as an Uber Driver in Ottawa, according to the landlord.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise money to support the families of the victims. The financial support will be coordinated through the Buddhist Congress of Canada on Heron Road.

As of 1 p.m. on Friday, the campaign had raised more than $34,000.

Donations can also be submitted to the Buddhist Congress of Canada.

With files from The Canadian Press, CTV News national correspondent Judy Trinh, and CTV News Ottawa’s Natalie van Rooy and Josh Pringle

More to come

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