Montreal mayor says authorities are working “day and night” to find who killed 16-year-old boy
Montreal mayor Valérie Plante, emotion creeping into her voice, said the city’s police department was working tirelessly to find the perpetrator of the murder of 16-year-old Thomas Trudel in the Saint-Michel neighborhood on Sunday evening.
“We’re going to do everything to find out who did this,” said Plante, speaking at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
At the same time, Montreal continues its efforts to tackle gun violence in the city, she said.
“We are here to show our support. We will work day and night to find out what happened and to make sure we have safe communities, ”said Plante, noting that more than 500 guns have been confiscated by Montreal police this year.
Police chief Sylvain Caron called the death “unacceptable”.
He encouraged people to share whatever information they have. At this point, he said, there have been no arrests, but added that every complaint received from the public is being examined and the investigation is progressing.
Caron said the police department, in partnership with the province, is working to end gun trafficking, putting new teams on the ground in some areas. He also reiterated the need to work closely with community groups to prevent gun violence.
“It’s not just a police solution,” he said. “It is important that we all work together.”
Plante said she would also like the federal government to do more, such as creating tougher penalties for illegal possession of firearms.
Shot in the street
Police were called to the intersection of Villeray Street and 20th Avenue around 9 p.m. Sunday where they found Trudel unconscious. He had been hit by gunshots in the upper body.
Witnesses saw the victim walking down the street before a man approached him, there was a verbal exchange and then the suspect shot the victim at least once, police said.
Trudel’s death was the 31st homicide on Montreal police territory this year.
Relatives told Radio-Canada that Trudel enjoyed playing hockey and was not involved in street gangs or crime.
One of Trudel’s former physical education teachers at the Leonardo Da Vinci school said he was a good athlete and student.
“He was a super endearing and very bright young man – an infectious ball of energy. He was appreciated by his classmates and his teachers,” said Fred Lebel.
Lebel, who also knows Trudel’s younger brother, said learning of the teenager’s death was shocking and difficult. Trudel was shot dead in front of the Léonard-De Vinci school.
More recently, Trudel was a student at Joseph-François-Perrault high school.
Psychosocial workers and a support team have been sent to the school, according to Alain Perron, spokesperson for the Montreal School Service Center (CSSDM).
“We wish to express our condolences to family members, friends and the educational community at the school,” Perron said in an email.
Quebec launches an initiative focused on prevention
Last month, another 16-year-old Montrealer was killed.
Jannai Dopwell Bailey was stabbed in the parking lot of Mile End high school in the Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough. A teenager was arrested in this case.
And back in February, Meriem Boundaoui, a 15-year-old girl, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Saint-Léonard.
On Tuesday, the Minister of Public Security, Geneviève Guilbault, offered her condolences to the family, friends and community of Trudel.
“I understand that people are worried right now, stressed out, sad, but I want to tell them: overall, Montreal is still a safe place to live, even though we are all a little overwhelmed and worried about what is happening. ‘has happened,’ said Guilbault. .
She said she was working with Montreal police and organizations on the ground to prevent gun violence.
“The key to the solution is to prevent these weapons from falling into the hands of young people and that is what we are working on,” said Guilbault.
In September, she announced that the Quebec government is investing more than $ 90 million in funding to help fight firearms trafficking.
The next step is prevention, she told CBC News.
Guilbault has indicated that she will soon announce a new initiative focused on prevention that will be launched in collaboration with the administration of Montreal, local organizations and the federal government.