A series of violent incidents have some Montrealers concerned over public safety
A 41-year-old man was violently stabbed in a local cafe on Jean-Talon last Tuesday afternoon, amid a series of three unrelated stabbings and a shooting which happened across the city that day.
The incident occurred at around 4:45 PM on May 24 when reports were made to police of a man in the street with a machete.
“We received reports of a man walking in the street with a knife in hand,” said Véronique Comtois, a spokesperson for the SPVM.
Police stated that the suspect then walked into the cafe on Jean-Talon Boulevard West on the corner of Wiseman and stabbed a man to his upper body inside. The man was sent to hospital but his injuries were not considered life-threatening.
The incident caused the street between Stuart and Outremont to be cordoned off to vehicle and pedestrian traffic for several hours as police conducted an investigation.
“The investigators went on-site and conducted an analysis of the scene, but so far we have no updates on the situation,” added Comtois.
The police arrested a 29-year-old male shortly after the incident who later met with case investigators. According to police, there is still no confirmation of whether or not he has appeared in court.
Series of violent incidents
The SPVM responded to two other stabbings and one shooting in four hours, in what amounted to a particularly violent Tuesday for Montreal. Police nonetheless specified all incidents were unrelated.
The first incident occurred at 4:30 PM in the Anjou borough, where a 14-year-old boy was stabbed in the upper body after an altercation between several people. The boy was sent to hospital but was not in a life-threatening situation.
Later that evening at around 8 PM, police were called to a separate incident downtown at the corner of Saint-Marc Street and Maisonneuve Boulevard West.
This time, a 42-year-old man was stabbed after a fight broke out between multiple people, said police. The man was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. The police said at the time that no arrests had been made and the investigation remained ongoing.
Shooting at a daycare
One of the most alarming events to happen that day was a shooting that occurred in front of a daycare in Riviere-des-Prairies. At around 5:30 PM, two people in a black vehicle opened fire on a strip mall at the corner Charles-Renard et André-Ampère.
According to police, approximately 20 shots were fired toward the building, hitting a restaurant and a daycare. The daycare was closed at the time and no children were present.
At least a dozen bullet holes were found throughout the building, including three in the window of the daycare center.
The SPVM stated that there was no indication that anyone on the scene was targeted, with one investigator telling Le Journal de Montréal that it may have been just for the sake of discharging a firearm.
Mayor calls for more gun-control
In the wake of the shooting in Riviere-des-Prairies, Montreal Mayor Valérie called upon the federal government to do more to control handguns and their illegal trade throughout the country.
“I don’t know how long we will have to wait and when there will be enough political courage, but I call on the federal government to something because handguns are circulating,” said Mayor Valérie Plante the following Wednesday.
“The SPVM and the SQ say it: every time they succeed in removing weapons, others come in and it isn’t the municipalities that can find a solution to that,” she added.
Federal bill proposes tighter restrictions
Since the Mayor’s speech last Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government published the details of a new bill they say will address the proliferation of firearms in Canada and mentioned last week’s shooting in Riviere-des-Prairies.
At a press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as cabinet ministers announced they would be putting a freeze on the sale, transfer and import of handguns and would be increasing minimum sentencing for firearm offences.
“In other words, we’re capping the market for handguns,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a press conference Monday. “As we see gun violence continue to rise, it is our duty to keep taking action,” he added.
The legislation nonetheless fell short of a comprehensive ban on handguns, which the Trudeau government defended as a way of respecting responsible gun owners.