Montreal Mayor Valrie Plante is seeking to reassure the public following an exchange of fire in Montreal’s Old Port between police and a suspect who shocked residents of a normally active, tourist-friendly neighborhood.
Plante said Montreal police will increase their patrols in the area, especially late at night as the bars close.
Five people, including a police officer and a 33-year-old, were taken to hospital after the shooting, which occurred around 2 a.m. Sunday near Quay Clocktower.
More than 20 shots were fired in all, according to Radio Canada sources.
Christine Caron, a longtime resident who heads a local neighborhood association, said the shootings are part of a disturbing trend she has noticed this summer, which has been different from any other given the pandemic.
“I think the problems are set around the nightlife. There seems to be a movement of troubled crowds around the premises in the area since the beginning of the summer and to us it seems to be worse than it was a year ago,” she said in Dawn of the day.
“Of course, this year there are no tourists around so it is quieter to start. Maybe the violence shows more, the place is quieter. I do not know, it is difficult to say from our point of view.”
The Quebec Police Officer has taken over the investigation because civilians were injured during the intervention.
According to the Bureau des enqutes indpendantes (EIB), three police officers responded to the call. They told the EIB that a 33-year-old man started firing in their direction, hitting one of the officers.
Police say they then opened fire and hit the suspect.
In addition to the suspect and police officer, waitresses and two bystanders were also hit, according to Radio Canada sources.
All five people are expected to survive.
Guy Ryan, a former inspector at the SPVM organized crime unit, said police often respond to fights and disputes in bars in the early hours of the weekend. But it is rare that weapons are involved.
He said that in itself makes the incident disturbing.
The next night, in a separate incident, they were shot at an apartment building in Pointe-aux-Trembles.
Some nearby residents called 911 after hearing the shooting. Investigators found several bullet marks on the wall of the building and a shell on the ground.
No one was hurt.
In a statement Monday, Plantesaid police would deploy more officers in both areas.
“The recent events involving firearms are disturbing, but I want to assure the Montrealers: we are taking the situation very seriously and have put in place a series of actions to contain the problem of violent crime,” she said.
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