OTTAWA -- A 30-year-old man is in critical condition after he was shot in the city's southeast end overnight, Ottawa police say.

Police were called around 3:20 a.m. Tuesday to Russell Road, near the Elmvale Acres Shopping Centre, about a gunshot. Officers arrived at the scene and found the man with serious injuries.

He was taken to hospital in critial condition, which police later said was upgraded to serious but stable condition.

Neighbours say the news is unsettling.

"I don’t feel safe in the building, and I’m not the only one in the building who thinks like that. There’s quite a few of us in here because we still have quite a few seniors," Liz Mitchell said. "I’ve been in the building for three years. In the last year I thought I don’t feel safe. At 7:30 I take my girls out for a walk and I don’t go back outside at all until about seven in the morning."

Mitchell said she recalled hearing a sound at around 3:20 that she first thought might have been a car backfiring. 

"I thought it was a backfire, but the backfire didn’t sound right," she said.

The sound was a first for Christine-Ann Bouchard.

"I’ve never heard gunshots ever in my life, so I’m not familiarized with it," she said. "It’s scary and what’s hurts me the most is the elders."

Andrew Smith's girlfriend lives in the building. He said he heard the shots and a short time later, police were banging on her door.

"My girlfriend, she’s in her 80s and she’s all afraid and everything else," he said. "They came knocking at quarter after four. I was up. It scared the hell out of me. I haven’t slept since."

As of Tuesday afternoon, Ottawa police had not provided any more details about the investigation, or said whether this case is tied to any others in the city, but did say in an email that the victim was upgraded to serious but stable condition in hospital.

"The Ottawa Police Service has seen a statistical increase in shootings from 2020; however, it is much too early to draw any conclusions as to causes and effect," said Acting Superintendend Carl Cartright.

Police declined an interview with CTV News Ottawa.