Homicide victims in Ottawa in 2021

·6 min read
A photo of Carl Reinboth is surrounded by flowers and candles on a memorial on Somerset Street W. on April 25, 2021. The 64-year-old staff member at the Somerset West Community Health Centre was fatally stabbed nearby two days earlier. (Ryan Patrick Jones/CBC - image credit)
A photo of Carl Reinboth is surrounded by flowers and candles on a memorial on Somerset Street W. on April 25, 2021. The 64-year-old staff member at the Somerset West Community Health Centre was fatally stabbed nearby two days earlier. (Ryan Patrick Jones/CBC - image credit)

The gentlest soul you'd ever meet. A young man nicknamed Pancake for how he flattened opponents on the football field. A woman who fled violence abroad only to have her family torn apart by it.

They were sons, mothers, best friends and big brothers.

Sixteen people were victims of homicide in Ottawa in 2021. Nine were shot dead — all of whom were male and all but one were racialized — in a year of record shootings in the city. Five people were stabbed and two were beaten.

The victims include 14 men and two women, both of whom were allegedly killed by a former intimate partner or family member. Ten of the 16 victims were racialized.

Ottawa police have laid charges in 11 cases, closed one case as self-defence and continue to investigate four cases as unsolved.

The victims range in age from 16 — a boy killed as he slept — to 64 —a harm reduction worker who gave of his time so thoughtfully.

In nearly half of the cases, others were injured, too, but survived.

Mehdi El-Hajj Hassan, 20, was the "only man" in his family. Rising to the status after his own father was killed when he was just four years old.

Police believe El-Hajj Hassan was driving in the city's south end around 3 a.m. Jan. 16 when he was shot by a 17-year-old boy through the driver's side window.

Police believe the accused in the case, charged with first-degree murder, carried out the shooting after he perceived that El-Hajj Hassan insulted one of his friends who had died from a drug overdose.

His identity as an alleged young offender is shielded by a publication ban.

Leo Santostefano, 40, worked for years at music venues across the city. He loved to laugh and cook.

His frozen body was found on March 7 by a passerby on a secluded snowmobile trail off of Dobson Lane, south of Richmond. No arrests have been made.

Arbor Memorial
Arbor Memorial

Carl Reinboth, 64, showed up for his community with a hug, a smoke, or whatever else was needed. A former addict who worked as an outreach worker at Somerset West Community Health Centre, he was fatally stabbed in Chinatown on April 23.

Police allege Honor Charley, 20, stabbed Reinboth at random before fleeing on foot. He is charged with second-degree murder and with attempted murder and aggravated assault for allegedly stabbing an 84-year-old man at a nearby gas station after the homicide.

Abdulqadir Yusuf, 22, was found unresponsive inside a Hyundai Sonata in a Palmerston Drive parking lot on May 26. He had been shot. No arrests have been made.

Abdulaziz Abdullah, 34, and Mohamad Abdullah, 27, were both fatally shot May 28 in a packed Alta Vista Drive parking lot. The third brother Fawaz Abdullah was also shot, but survived his injuries.

It was a hefty robbery of drugs and money in the Dominican Republic that led to a criminal underworld bounty, which left two Ottawa brothers dead and another injured, according to sources.

Police believe Ottawa's Abdullahi "Avon" Osman, 29, was part of the planning, but that hired hands Ahmed "Baby Dice/Dice/Dicey" Siyad, 28, and Mohamed "Waldo" Shire, 31, both from Toronto, executed the shooting. All three remain wanted on Canada-wide arrest warrants for first-degree murder and attempted murder.

Warsama Youssouf, 27, was found in a strip-mall parking lot on Cyrville Road suffering from gunshot wounds on May 30.

His was the fourth shooting death in the nation's capital in just five days. No arrests have been made.

Mikael Arjani, 34, was severely beaten on May 4 in Vanier.

William Brown was originally charged with aggravated assault, but police upgraded that charge to manslaughter after Arjani died from his injuries nearly a month later.

Hanadi Mohammed, 50, was gentle but strong, and a fighter. Born and raised in Khartoum, Sudan, she escaped both the war-torn country and left a marriage in search of a better life for her children, safety and security.

She was fatally stabbed as she returned to a Baseline Road townhouse with groceries on the evening of June 15.

Police charged her estranged husband Hamid Ayoub with first-degree murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing the couple's adult daughter, too.


Loris Tyson Ndongonzi, 20, loved football and with a hard-earned high-school diploma in hand was just weeks away from starting a football scholarship in Quebec when he was shot dead on July 4. His 18-year-old friend was also shot but survived his injuries.

Haybe Farhan Aden is wanted on a Canada-wide arrest warrant for second-degree murder and attempted murder.


Avery Houghton, 25, had a sharp wit and loved clever humour. He never shied from sharing stories and his insights with those he loved.

He was stabbed to death on July 22 inside his basement apartment on Sherry Lane.

Police charged Nicholas Cox and Erick Silva-Stone with second-degree murder.

Arbor Memorial
Arbor Memorial

Eric Hewer, 19, had just moved to Ottawa from Nova Scotia for work when he was out celebrating his birthday and became embroiled in a road-rage altercation with his friend and three teen boys on e-scooters on July 26.

Hewer was stabbed fatally and his friend injured. Police declined to lay charges saying they believe the 16-year-old boy who stabbed Hewer was acting in self defence.

Submitted by Aaron Hewer
Submitted by Aaron Hewer

Zakaria Sheek-Hussein, 27, was badly beaten inside the Ottawa jail on February 24. He died at the end of July.

His was the third jailhouse homicide at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre since 2018.

Police charged Donald Musselman, who was in the jail awaiting trial for murder in an unrelated 2019 case, with second-degree murder.

Creflo Tansia, 18, was the baby of his family. He was shot on Aug. 10 in Lowertown and died the next morning in hospital. A second 18-year-old man was also shot but survived his injuries.

Police charged a 17-year-old boy with first-degree murder.


Linda Frederick, 64, was affectionately known as "Lindi Lou." She was a devoted mother to her two children who lived life for her kids and persevered through the struggle of raising a son with mental illness. She was stabbed to death inside her Sherway Drive home.

Frederick's son Conor Donnelly, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, has been charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing his stepfather, too.


John Ndayishimiye, 16, lived a short life marked by violence. But through it all, those who knew him said he showed courage — to name a killer in the homicide of his friend, to be a warrior on the football field and dream big.

He was shot the morning of Dec. 6 on Elmira Drive while he slept. Another 16-year-old boy was also injured in the shooting.

No arrests have been made.

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