Sandy Hill property littered with bullet casings after Sunday evening shooting
Published Monday, September 1, 2014 4:23PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, September 2, 2014 11:07AM EDT
An Ottawa man appeared in court today on a variety of charges after a shooting in broad daylight Sunday. No one was injured but residents of Ottawa’s Sandy Hill are still shaken by the level of violence. The shooting happened just after 5 p.m. along Chapel Street in a beautiful old neighborhood home to young families and lots of university students, many of whom were in the process of moving in when the shooting occurred. Bullet casings litter the front yard of a two-storey home in the 500-block Chapel Street, blocks away from the University of Ottawa.
The home is rented by several students including Sidney Marshall who was unpacking boxes yesterday evening with her boyfriend and dad when they heard shots.
“My dad was putting up a blind,” says Marshall, “and my boyfriend was beside him when he (the suspect) ran right here, slowed to a jog and fired off literally right in front of our house. So my boyfriend ducked and my dad was just standing there, you're in shock, you don't know what happened.”
The three ran to the back of the house and called police. Within minutes, the area was cordoned off. Police discovered 5 bullet casings and saw a man running from the scene. They chased and arrested 22-year-old Phillip McGuffie of Ottawa, and recovered a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic Glock handgun. McGuffie appeared in court today on several charges, including careless use, handling and storage of a firearm, possessing a weapon dangerous to public peace, possessing a firearm obtained by crime, failing to comply with condition of judicial release, breach of probation and possession of marijuana.
“When it happens in front of your house on your first night alone,” says Marshall, “it's pretty crazy.”
Crazy and scary for a neighborhood full of children. Robert Sparling lives right beside Marshall and heard the gunshots as well.
“You don't want to hear that in your neighborhood,” he says, “it's absolutely atrocious; a turkey firing a gun down the street.”
Ottawa's Guns and Gangs unit is investigating the incident. It’s the latest in a series of shootings that have rattled residents throughout the city. Two weeks ago, bullets hit two townhomes in Ottawa's south end. It's happened outside downtown bars and inside quiet communities.
"I’m not sure what's going on in the city,” says Sandy Hill resident Jeremy Silburt, “but it’s something that needs to be dealt with by the police.”
Sidney Marshall isn't letting this rattle her though. The Brockville native is rolling up the police tape outside her house and focusing instead on her university studies.
Police weren't available to comment today but they told Marshall that the shooting appeared to be a dispute between two people and her house just happened to be where it all went down.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Guns and Gangs Unit at 613-236-1222 ext. 5050.