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'Incredibly tragic:' Ottawa residents shocked by death of teen in Centretown park

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Shaken residents of Ottawa worked Sunday to process the aftermath of an apparent fight that killed a teenager in Centretown on Friday night.

Police say they were called just before 8 p.m. to McNabb Park, at the corner of Bronson and Gladstone avenues, where they found an injured 16-year-old boy. He was rushed to hospital where he later died.

The name of the victim has not been released.

McNabb Park reopened to the public following initial investigations on Saturday, but the tragic incident has left residents shaken.

Tara Fowler and Jean Christophe live nearby and frequent the park several times a week. The two say up until now, the area has been relatively quiet.

"As far as violence, I haven't really seen too much of that," said Fowler on Sunday.

"We're always here just sitting in the grass over there," points Christophe. "To think that someone lost their life here - it's crazy."

A resident living adjacent to the park on Gladstone Avenue, who wishes to remain anonymous, tells CTV News he believes he witnessed the incident.

He recounts how he walked his dog past a group of teens around the time of the supposed fight at the southeast corner of the park. He says he saw a group of three to five people huddling over what he believed at the time were backpacks. He claims they were there for around 15 minutes.

Upon learning of the tragic outcome, he says he no longer feels safe in the park.

"Whenever I walk past that area, I’ll think of that."

Andrew Geeves visits the Charlie Bowins Skatepark in the west end of the park regularly. He says the news came as a shock.

The Charlie Bowins Skatepark on Apr. 14, 2024 (Sam Houpt/CTV News)

"I've seen a couple of scraps here before, but it's pretty chill for the most part," he said. "I think it's terrible, man - I've kind of known this place to be pretty safe."

"It's not a neighborhood that I've been worried about," said Stan Mathews. "I've been here for three years and never worried about my safety in any way, so it's pretty surprising."

As of Sunday evening, no arrests have been made. Police are looking for witnesses as they continue their investigations. The death has been considered suspicious.

"It's incredibly tragic and I'm very shocked that it happened in this park," said another resident Brenna Egan.

Anyone with information is asked to call the homicide unit at 613-236-1222 ext. 5493, or if you wish to remain anonymous, you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or crimestoppers.ca.

Police say they do not believe there is an ongoing risk to public safety.

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