Police investigate cemetery shooting at funeral of homicide victim on Banff Avenue


A police vehicle parked at the entrance to the Ottawa Muslim Cemetery. Police are investigating after reports of gunshots shortly after 3pm on Friday. A man is hospitalized with injuries that are not life-threatening. (Guy Quenneville/CBC – image credit)

Ottawa police are investigating after a man arrived at hospital with a gunshot wound following reports of shots being fired in a cemetery while another victim’s funeral 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, the funeral of a homicide victim on Tuesday of this week was in progress,” police said in a news release late Friday.

Police sources told CBC that a funeral service was held on Friday for Abdulhamid Haji Ragab, 24, died earlier this week in a fatal shooting in a south Ottawa community housing neighborhood.

Chawn Lemieux appeared in court Friday in connection with the incident. He is charged with one count of second degree murder and has been remanded in custody.

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

A spokesperson for the Ottawa Paramedic Service said they sent several vehicles to the scene of the shooting, but police canceled them before they arrived at the scene.

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

Cruisers blocked the entrance to the cemetery after 4 p.m., and officers turned back cars attempting to enter the area. A CBC reporter overheard an officer tell a driver ‘this is a crime scene’ as they diverted them.

Yaser Afaneh and his wife Eman said they stop at the cemetery every Friday to pray and lay 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 the police.

Guy Quenneville/Radio-Canada

Guy Quenneville/Radio-Canada

“Now it appears that the cemetery is an investigation area for this crime,” Yaser Afaneh said, adding that the couple found it a little shocking.

“It releases us from our sadness and pressure,” he said of their regular visit. “Today it looks like we’re not going to do that.”

Police said their investigation and search meant some people were unable to leave the area immediately, adding that the service apologized for the inconvenience.

The police asked people to avoid the area.


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