Residents along Lyon Street near where a shooting took place in broad daylight say they’re worried for their safety.
One man was found suffering from a gunshot wound to his lower body and was taken to hospital with life-threatening condition. His injuries were upgraded Saturday afternoon according to police.
Another man was found suffering from an overdose and was also taken to hospital in life-threatening condition.
A couple neighbours described seeing a man lying on the sidewalk outside a rooming house at 292 Lyon Street.
“All of a sudden, I hear ‘bang, bang’,” said Denis Roy, who said the’s lived in house for four years but has been trying to find a place on his own so he can feel safer.
He said when he realized the noises were gunshots, he remained in his room because he was worried for his own safety.
Frank Patafi lives a couple doors down from the home but didn’t hear any of the commotion outside until late that night.
“Well, I’m a little concerned about it. It’s been ongoing problems with that place, so it does affect us,” he said.
He’s written a letter to Somerset ward Councillor Catherine McKenney before, but doesn’t feel much came out of it.
There’s a strong police presence in the area, he said, but he wants the house torn down or sold and is considering moving.
Officers could be seen going in and out of the house Saturday morning.
Ottawa police’s Guns and Gangs Unit have taken over the investigation.
Police have released few details about the shooting, but it’s the latest in a string of shootings that have plagued the city’s downtown. Two men were killed in the last two months in the ByWard Market after being shot. Police bolstered their presence in the market on the weekends.
But this latest shooting still raises concerns.
“It is another incident that should be setting off red flags,” said Irvin Waller, a criminologist at the University of Ottawa.
He said while not all shootings have the same root causes, City Council should be doing more to combat street violence.
“The way the police are used and the amount of money going into targeted services to young men would make a significant difference and it would reduce gun use, not only in the [ByWard] Market but in other hot spots in Ottawa,” he said.
Strategies, such as having outreach workers speak to young men who may be carrying weapons, as well as having outreach workers in hospitals to prevent retaliation after a shooting and school programs to help students control their emotions can all help in reducing gun violence. In other cities, certain strategies have led to a 50 per cent reduction in shootings and homicides, he said.
As for Princess Land, who lives across the street from the rooming house, she’s become increasingly concerned for her safety.
She was woken up by the sound of gunshots on the street a couple months ago and worries about walking on the street at night.
“When I work late at night, I don’t get home until 12 [a.m.], 12:30 and I always feel… I get a lot of anxiety when I’m walking home, walking from the bus stop just from Somerset [Street].”