As gun violence rises in Montreal, police promise action

Montreal police are promising to take action after a recent spate of gun violence, including one incident that left five people injured in the Old Port.

Francesco Secondi, the SPVM's deputy chief of criminal investigations, said on Tuesday that Montrealers can expect to see a larger police presence in areas like Old Montreal.

“We will be adding more investigators, more police officers, we will be going door-to-door to ask people if they have any information,” he said. “At the same time, we will be asking people what their insecurity is.”

“We are concerned. We don't want to be anywhere near what Toronto is living right now. That's why we are putting our people on the ground.”

On Sunday morning, a police officer was injured by gunfire while responding to a call near Terasse Bonsecours. The shooter and three bystanders were also hurt, though all are expected to survive.

“We have three officers who were involved in gunshots with the suspect and one of them was hit in the leg so he's doing better right now,” said police brotherhood spokesperson Yves Francoeur.

The gunman has been identified as 33-year-old Adam Pichette. He remains in hospital and is expected to face several charges, including attempted murder. According to court documents, Pichette was on probation for a previous firearm offence, despite being banned from owning a gun based on previous convictions.

“I can't understand why that guy was free,” said Francoeur. “Fortunately, our officer was not seriously injured.”

On average, Montreal police deal with between one and two incidents involving gun per week, but that number jumped to eight in late August.

On Monday, Mayor Valerie Plante said police would beef up their presence in several Montreal neighbourhoods and would be working “behind the scenes” to curb gun violence. She also urged Ottawa to do more on gun control, saying she didn't believe guns had a place in the city.  

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