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‘Tremendous loss’: Fatal stabbing attack on Alta Vista family leaves communities reeling

The stabbing death of 15-year-old Jasmine Ready and serious injury of her older sister, 19-year-old Catherine Ready, has rocked those who knew them as happy, motivated students at École secondaire catholique Franco-Cité.

School principal Annick Ducharme said Thursday she’d been receiving kind words about both young women all day – their smiles and generous laughter, their seriousness about their studies and “always striving to do better and to succeed as best they could.”

Their mother Anne-Marie Ready, a trade commissioner at Global Affairs Canada, was also killed in the attack outside their Alta Vista home by 21-year-old Joshua Graves.

He was shot dead by police Monday night while attacking Catherine, who was also struck by a police bullet, according to the province’s police watchdog. She was rushed to hospital in serious but stable condition and was expected to survive her injuries. The bodies of the other two women were discovered nearby.

After four years at the French Catholic secondary school, Catherine graduated from Franco-Cité last year and went on to study at uOttawa, while Jasmine completed Grade 10 last week.

The younger Ready sister was “a real ray of sunshine, very nice to everybody around her, always being concerned with everybody’s well-being, very nice and respectful,” said Ducharme.

Jasmine had many friends and those students “are devastated,” said Ducharme. “Some of them are here today … It’s really sad to see.”

Franco-Cité students began their summer break last week. The school tried to reach out to them as soon as they could to share what had happened to the Ready family and to offer support, said Ducharme. Students were invited to return to the school Thursday, where a team of social workers was made available. It’s a support the principal said she can continue to arrange for those who need it, throughout the summer.

“I do not want to see any single one of my students or my staff members being hurt in any way. So that’s just terrible and really difficult to accept,” said Ducharme.

“These tragedies seem to happen to the best of us … everything I’ve heard about Jasmine and Catherine has been so positive and focused on how they were such good (people) looking out for others.”

Their attacker did not attend Franco-Cité, Ducharme confirmed. CBC Ottawa reported Thursday that according to some of his relatives, he had shown romantic interest in one of the Ready sisters and had been told to stop contacting her.

Another community left reeling by Monday’s loss of life is the Douvris karate family, of which Jasmine and Anne-Marie, 50, were long-time members. Both received their black belts in a recent ceremony, according to co-founder John Douvris.

In a statement emailed to this newspaper, Douvris said the mother and daughter were “kindhearted, compassionate, energetic and supportive people” whose “beautiful smiles and kind laughter made our dojo and karate community a better place.”

“Our entire karate family is grieving this inexplicable and tremendous loss.”

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