The young woman who survived a vicious stabbing attack that led to the deaths of her mother and younger sister — and who was inadvertently shot by police trying to stop the suspect — is now out of the hospital, a family friend says.
Catherine Ready, 19, was the only one to survive the attack last month outside her family's Anoka Street home in Ottawa.
Her mother, 50-year-old Anne-Marie, and her younger sister, 15-year-old Jasmine, were both stabbed to death on the night of June 27 by Joshua Graves, the son of the family's next-door neighbour.
Graves was in the middle of stabbing Ready on the road near the house when Ottawa police officers showed up on the scene. According to the Special Investigations Unit, Ontario's police watchdog, three officers opened fire on the 21-year-old when he refused to drop his knife.
Graves was killed, while Ready — already wounded by her assailant — was also struck by the gunfire.
"I was in utter disbelief. I recall the moment [I found out] exactly," said Naomi Eberhard, who learned of the attack while she was at the Douvris Martial Arts studio, where she and Anne-Marie and Jasmine all trained together.
A few weeks earlier, the three had all obtained their black belts — something they'd been working three years to accomplish, Eberhard said.
"I know I was in actual shock. And shortly after the shock wore off, I was very angry," Eberhard told CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning. "These two beautiful women should not have been taken from us."
'Unparalleled strength and courage'
Now, Eberhard is part of a charge to raise money for Ready, as she recovers from her injuries and grapples with the loss of her mother and her sister.
According to information passed on by Ready's relatives, she was discharged from hospital last Wednesday, Eberhard said, and is being cared for by members of her extended family.
Ready is doing "quite well given the circumstances," she added, and is "continuing to show unparalleled strength and courage."
More than $61,000 had been raised for Ready as of Wednesday morning, Eberhard said.
"To lose your mother and your sister at the same time, at the age of 19, is just incredibly overwhelming. I couldn't imagine going to school, going to work, thinking about how to get groceries," she said.
"Having that financial backing, it will just help her take steps — new steps — into her new and unknown life."
According to courthouse records, Graves had been charged three days before the June 27 attack with three counts of criminal harassment, assault and sexual assault for allegedly stalking another woman he went to school with.
He was released the same day he was charged.
Graves's family has said he had a "romantic" interest in one of the victims. He also had a history of mental illness, they said, and was beginning to get medical treatment at the time of the attack.