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Barrhaven mass killing survivor thanks city, mayor for support

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The sole survivor of the Barrhaven mass killing is thanking the city of Ottawa for their support, only two months after losing his wife, four children and a family friend.

Dhanushka Wickramasinghe and Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe embraced at the finish line of the Tartan Ottawa International Marathon on Sunday, with Wickramasinghe presenting Sutcliffe with his medal after finishing the 42.2 kilometre race.

Sutcliffe was running in the marathon to raise money for Wickramasinghe and Ottawa Victim Services.

Wickramasinghe made brief comments to reporters at the finish line, thanking the city and Sutcliffe for their support.

"When I heard the mayor was running for me, I was actually speechless," he said.

"He ran on behalf of me, so I'm really, really grateful for that."

A page for Ottawa Victim Services on the official race donation page shows the fund has raised $2,625.29 so far. Donors have until June 17 to donate.

"I'm actually speechless. Thank you. Thank you very much. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank not only to the mayor, but for everyone in Ottawa. They've been helping me out so much," Wickramasinghe said.

On March 6, Wickramasinghe's wife, his four children and a family acquaintance were killed inside a two-storey townhouse on Berrigan Drive in the Ottawa suburb of Barrhaven. Febrio De-Zoysa, 19, is charged with six counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. His motive for the murders remains unclear.

Wickramasinghe was taken to hospital in serious condition and has since recovered. He has said he plans to stay in Ottawa.

Sutcliffe said last week he wanted to run in the race to raise funds for Wickramasinghe and Ottawa Victim Services, despite not having yet recovered from the London Marathon just over a month ago.

"He's been through an unimaginably tragic event and he's a wonderful person and there are many people in our community who want to help him, so I decided to raise some funds to help him with his living expenses as he tries to rebuild his life after this tragic, tragic event," Sutcliffe said at the finish line.

Run Ottawa says the marathon is on track to beat its 2023 fundraising record of $1.1 million to various charities in the city. The organization says $1 million has already been raised.

With files from CTV News Ottawa's Jackie Perez

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