Man killed in west-end parking lot shooting
Published Monday, July 31, 2017 11:11PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, August 1, 2017 3:52PM EDT
Patrons enjoying a nice evening on an outdoor patio last night scrambled to safety after someone was shot in front of them.
It happened outside the Big Rig restaurant on Iris Street in Ottawa’s west end.Police identified 36-year-old Esmail Sharifi as the victim. He died of gunshot wounds.
It was a beautiful evening and the patio was crowded with peoplem including childrenm when they heard 3 bangs and saw a man clutching his shoulder.
Tuesday morning, Ottawa Police were scouring every inch of the parking lot, looking for evidence after Monday evening's fatal shooting.
One couple had just finished shopping at IKEA across the street and decided to come to the Big Rig for a bite. They asked that their names not be used.
“When we were eating, we heard 3 bangs,” the man says. They were at the scene today, trying to recover their car behind the police crime scene tape. He says he thought at first the sound was firecrackers.
“Then we saw a man running towards us screaming “Help me. Help me.” Afterwards everybody said we should go inside, so we rushed inside and hid there.”
Francine Paquin lives behind the Iris Plaza Strip mall and saw a man running away after she heard three bangs.
“By curiosity, I came here,” Paquin says, referring to the strip mall, “I saw the man lying down at the Big Rig, on the table and chair. He was on his back. He got shot in the back here 3 times.”
Paramedics and police frantically tried to save the man. He died in hospital. He's been identified as 36-year-old Esmail Sharifi.
Sharifi was known to police. It is believed he worked for a tow truck company. Early this morning, a tow truck bearing the logo of Ottawa Metro Towing was seen behind the police tape, being hauled away by police. A woman who answered the phone at Ottawa Metro Towing had no comment.
“There are no suspects at this time,” says Constable Marc Soucy with the Ottawa Police, “The officers
have released the scene and now look up the information they have and go from there.”
There was another shooting Monday night, too in the Heron Road area. No one was injured there but in the west end, this marks the 4th shooting and the 3rd murder in a week.
Last Monday, two men were murdered and another shot, all within blocks of each other. 29-year-old Alam Gabriel Buoc has been arrested in connection with those shootings.
“I'm just so mad, so angry, a human being has been killed over what,” says Christine Karam, who works at a salon in the Iris Plaza strip mall.
For business owners, for residents in the area, it is a sobering reminder that violence can happen anywhere, even while enjoying a beautiful Monday evening on a patio.
“Life is getting a little scary around the neighbourhood,” says Linda Van Dusen, as she walks her dogs by the crime scene, “I don't know what it is with guns and knives again but people, bring out your fists again. What's wrong with a good old fashioned fist fight? Get it over with, shake hands and walk away.”
Police will be collecting surveillance tapes from local businesses that could help them identify a suspect. They stress that they don't believe any of the businesses had anything to do with what happened Monday night.