Two men wanted after violent Centretown home invasion
Joanne Schnurr, CTV Ottawa
Published Friday, January 13, 2017 1:36PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 13, 2017 6:31PM EST
Ottawa Police are searching for two men they consider armed and dangerous after a violent home invasion January 10th. One victim in his late 60's was clubbed and stabbed. Two female victims were held hostage. It's happened in the three hundred Cooper Street at 2:00 Tuesday afternoon. Police don’t believe the victim knew his attackers but for whatever reason they chose his apartment building on Cooper St. to conduct a midday heist and kidnapping.
Brandon Murray was having a smoke outside on Tuesday, when he saw Ottawa police race down this quiet, mature street.
“All of a sudden I hear all these sirens,” Murray says, “next thing you know, four or five cop cars are racing up the street, some even driving wrong way down the road.”
“I was standing waiting for my ride,” says Lindsay O’Zero, who works beside the building at 335 Cooper Street, “and saw a whole bunch of police cars and police run into the building.”
They say a man in his 60's was in his apartment, with two female visitors, one in their 50's and the other in their 30's, when there was a knock on his door.
“When he answers the door, two male suspects go rushing into the door,” explains Staff-Sergeant Mike Haarbosch, with the Ottawa Police Robbery/Break and Enter Unit, “They make efforts to control the three people in the apartment, there's a handgun brandished.”
The man was hit several times on the head with a gun and stabbed. A car then pulled up with a young woman driving and the male victim was coerced into going to a bank on Elgin Street to withdraw cash.
While one suspect took the victim to the bank, the other two remained behind at the apartment, confining the two women. Once the cash was in hand, the two women were let go. But that first suspect came back to the Cooper Street building with the male victim. He was arrested without incident.
“I’m not sure what to say. It's not something you hear on this street,” says Astera Van Der Jadt who lives down the street.
“I think that scares me,” adds Christina Robinson, “that these things are happening on such a regular basis and not one particular neighbourhood, it's happening all over.”
Police have charged 29-year-old Justin Russell-Connolly with robbery, forcible confinement, conspiracy and kidnapping. Arrest warrants have been issued for two others. Marcus Gil and Brightner Casseus, both 18, face 19 charges including robbery, assault and kidnapping. Casseus is also wanted for attempted murder.
All three are known to police. The female driver, however, remains a mystery.
“We're hoping she will come forward, contact us,” says Haarbosch, “and meet with investigators on her own.”