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Ottawa police admitting early misinformation in Centretown shooting created challenges

Ottawa Police Deputy Chief Uday Jaswal says initial reports of an active shooter in the Gilmour Street area sparked unnecessary concern and anxiety.
2018-12-12 ottawa police headquartersmv1
Ottawa Police Service headquarters. Mike Vlasveld/ OttawaMatters

Deputy Chief Uday Jaswal says the Ottawa Police Service wasn't done any favours by an initial report of an incident at a home on Gilmour Street as an "active shooter" situation with several people injured.

Parliamentary Protective Services reported an active shooter situation around 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, while police tweeted that there were "many injuries with a coordinated response underway."

On 1310 NEWS Thursday morning, Jaswal said, "Unfortunately there was some misinformation put out very early on in terms of it being an active shooter incident. I think that sort of sparks concerns and raises anxiety, understandably."

Jaswal said that simply wasn't the type of incident officers were dealing with in Centretown. Four people (ages 20, 19, 18 and 15) were shot inside of a home, being rented as an Airbnb unit, and one of them (Manyok Akol, 18) was pronounced dead at the scene.

"[There was] certainly a high level of violence, but that was contained to one particular address," he explained.

As local, national and international media crews descended on the scene between Lyon Street and Kent Street, the deputy chief said, "It created some challenges to deal with as [officers] responded."

Jaswal said, at the end of the day, he was glad that any potential threat to the community was addressed very quickly by first responders.

Ottawa police continue to investigate the Gilmour Street homicide, and are looking to speak with any witnesses or residents in the area who may have noticed suspicious activity.

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