Published On: Sat, Dec 17th, 2016

Somali-Canadian women slain, suspect arrested

Two women are dead and a young man is in custody as the Ottawa police major crime unit investigates the city’s 23rd and 24th homicides of 2016.

Police were called to a McCarthy Road home at about 9 p.m. Friday after the victims, aged 29 and 32, were found dead.

Ottawa police arrested a man who had earlier been seen, by a Citizen reporter and others, standing in the bitter cold on train tracks near the street, about 500 metres north of the crime scene in the 3200 block of McCarthy Road.

 The man, who was wearing dark clothing, was seen standing with his hands in his pockets at around 11 p.m. He was arrested about 15 minutes later.Another man in his early 20s was also seen 10 minutes later lying face-down in handcuffs on McCarthy Road near Southmore Road.

An entire block of townhouses in the area was behind crime-scene tape, along with several parking lots, as major crime officers combed the scene late Friday evening.

The witnesses were later questioned by police about what they saw.

Police were also speaking with family members of the victims late Friday.

After the arrest, McCarthy Road was closed to traffic in both directions.

Last weekend, two others had died — one shot, one stabbed — to bring the homicide count to 22.

The number for 2016 now ties 1995’s total of 24 homicides, the highest for a single year in the past three decades. On average, over the past 15 years, there have been about 10 slayings a year in the nation’s capital.

“For some reason, we’re seeing individuals resorting to violence and extreme violence,” police Chief Charles Bordeleau had said. “People are carrying guns and knives, and they’re way quicker to use them.”

After last weekend’s violence, police had recorded 65 shooting incidents for the year.

“We’re trying to wrap our heads around it,” Bordeleau had said while discussing the rising numbers on the use of guns. “Is it a broader societal issue? The way to resolve conflict is to carry a weapon. And it’s minor conflict. It’s puzzling. It can be very trivial.”

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