No charges in stabbing death of Nova Scotia man in Ottawa, police say

Ottawa police say no one will face charges in connection to the stabbing death of a 19-year-old Nova Scotia man in Ottawa's downtown this summer.

Eric Hewer was out celebrating his birthday with a friend, but in the early evening of July 26, the two, who were driving in a black Volkswagen, got into an alleged altercation with three teens riding e-scooters.

Police say Hewer and his friend were stabbed in the area of Metcalfe and Albert Streets. Both were transported to hospital, Hewer died of his injuries.

"Life changing is the only way I can describe this. For all of us it’s been life changing," says Hewer’s older brother Brendon. "He paid the ultimate price when everybody was responsible and it’s not fair."

Police announced on Wednesday that the Homicide Unit has concluded its investigation into the altercation that led to the stabbing death of Hewer, and no charges will be laid.

"After an extensive review of this incident, Homicide investigators have determined that the individual acted in self-defence and as such, there are no reasonable and probable grounds to lay a criminal charge," said police.

On July 28, police said investigators were looking to speak with anyone with information about an altercation between three e-scooter riders and a black Volkswagen at the time of the stabbing.

Insp. Carl Cartright says bad decisions were made by everyone involved.

"Even though we are not proceeding criminally that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any other means process in regards to this," says Cartright. "It’s a difficult decision to make when you look the criminal justice system as a whole and the role of the police and our role in this case is to be impartial."

Friends and family say Hewer had just moved to Ottawa, from his hometown in Sydney, N.S., to start a new job. 

Brendan Hewer says community support has been overwhelming, a GoFundMe page was started to help his family, and that his younger brother was a kind and caring individual.

"He loved to have fun he loved to help his community he was always looking for other ways to help people," he says. "Everybody that day made a mistake that’s not what we're saying. What we’re saying is deadly force was used against somebody when deadly force should not have been used. We just want somebody held responsible for Eric’s death."

Hewer was Ottawa's 12th homicide victim of 2021.