Sutcliffe Runs Marathon To Support Barrhaven Killing Spree Survivor

By Charlie Senack

There were tears in mayor Mark Sutcliffe’s eyes as he crossed the finish line of Ottawa’s Tamarack Race Weekend on May 26. There to greet him was Dhanushka Wickramasinghe, whose whole family was killed in Barrhaven’s mass March homicide.

Sutcliffe, who is no stranger to running marathons, decided to use one of the city’s most popular events to raise money for the Sri-Lankan native, who was the sole survivor of the Berrigan Drive homicide.

Dhanushka’s wife, four children, and a family friend were all brutally murdered. Febrio De-Zoysa, a 19-year-old Algonquin dropout who was living with the family, has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. The father and husband was able to escape the attacker, but suffered inquiries which required surgeries.

Before the race, Sutcliffe said he hasn’t fully recovered from a marathon he recently ran in London, England, but couldn’t miss the opportunity to lace up his shoes for a good cause.

“It’s the 50th edition of the marathon and I want to be part of this big milestone. I want to support the fundraising organized by Ottawa Victim Services for Dhanushka Wickramasinghe, who is coping with unimaginable pain and loss,” Sutcliffe said in a post on X.

Sutcliffe completed the 42.2 kilometer race in a little over four hours. As he passed the finish mark near city hall, Wickramasinghe put a 50th annual Tartan Ottawa International Marathon medal over Sutcliffe’s head and embraced him with a hug.

In his first time speaking with the media since the horrific incident, Wickramasinghe thanked everyone in the city for their love and support. He vowed to stay in Ottawa and find a way to give back.

“Thank you, from the bottom of my heart,” said Wickramasinghe. “Thanks to everyone in the Ottawa city. They’ve been helping me out so much.”

Sutcliffe called Wickramasinghe “a wonderful person” who has been through “an unimaginably tragic event.” At least $2,625 was raised.

Featured Image: Dhanushka Wickramasinghe congratulates Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe at the finish line of the Ottawa Tamarack Race Weekend marathon. Sutcliffe, a veteran marathon runner, ran the race to raise funds for Wickramasinghe, whose wife and four children were murdered at their Berrigan Drive home in March. Charlie Senack photo