Public Safety Secretary Geneviève Guilbault met with Montreal-area police chiefs on Friday after three killings in a 24-hour period that rocked the region.
Posted 10:02am Updated 2:56pm
Henri Ouellette-Vézina La Presse
It was his cabinet that had confirmed the information from the start. According to our information, the chiefs of the Montreal and Laval police forces and the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) took part in the talks. “We will take stock of the situation in Montreal to see if they need anything to continue their work,” said the minister’s press attaché, Louis-Julien Dufresne.
He says the minister is mostly “in listening mode”. “The purpose of the meeting is for the police forces to brief the minister on the issues and their needs. The minister will certainly have some questions about what is generally happening on the ground these days, but above all we want to be able to facilitate his work if necessary,” he stressed.
On Thursday, Ms Guilbault said on Twitter: “We are all appalled by the three murders in Montreal and Laval.” “Our hearts go out to the families of the three victims. Many thanks to the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) who responded quickly,” she said.
Several logistical issues were discussed during the meeting, as in the affected sectors – namely Saint-Laurent, Ahuntsic-Cartierville and Laval – several security services will continue in the coming days to reassure the population. “The sense of security of Montreal residents will always be at the heart of the SPVM’s efforts,” Montreal Police Interim Director Sophie Roy said Thursday.
Recall that the investigation into Thursday morning’s police operation in which suspect Abdullah Shaikh was shot dead has been transferred to the Bureau of Independent Investigations (BEI). The SQ, meanwhile, will be in charge of investigating the three murders. For its part, the SPVM has already indicated that it “cannot comment more fully on the ongoing events and investigations”.
The latest victim in this series of murders is Alex Lévis Crevier, a 22-year-old resident of Laval. He was skateboarding in the Laval-des-Rapides neighborhood when the shooting took place. He would have been attacked indiscriminately. Two men were killed an hour apart Tuesday night. The first victim is André Fernand Lemieux, a 64-year-old man, father of Quebec boxer David Lemieux.
An hour later, officers found a man lying on the ground with gunshot wounds about two miles from the first kill. Mohamed Salah Belhaj, a 48-year-old intervention officer at Albert-Prévost Psychiatric Hospital, also died from his injuries.
The Mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, also praised the work of the police, which she believes once again “proves their efficiency and commitment to the safety of Montreal residents”. “The last 48 hours have been exhausting for everyone,” she said in a tweet.