Preliminary inquiry scheduled in case of 19-year-old accused of killing six in Ottawa

Dates for a preliminary inquiry have been set for a 19-year-old former international student accused of killing members of a family he had been living with in an Ottawa suburb. 

Febrio De-Zoysa was arrested in early March and charged with six counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of a 35-year-old Sri Lankan woman and her four children, as well as a family friend. 

He also faces one count of attempted murder, after the family’s father was sent to hospital on the evening of the killings with injuries to his hands and face.

Police say they were called to a townhouse in the Barrhaven suburb and discovered six dead, including four children ranging in age from just two months old to seven years old. 

Lawyers appeared in court today to set pre-trial dates for next April and a preliminary inquiry from May 12 to 14, 2025. 

De-Zoysa’s lawyer said last week his client has no plans to seek bail. 

Ewan Lyttle previously said the young man was being held in protective custody due to the seriousness of the allegations, and his family was “obviously very upset.”

Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe called the mass stabbings “one of the most shocking incidents of violence” in the city’s history.

The killings triggered an outpouring of grief from neighbours, city officials and the Sri Lankan community.