Quebec to announce funding for crime prevention as Montreal police probe shooting

As Montreal police investigated the latest killing of a youth in the city, the provincial government said Friday it would announce funds for crime prevention programs this weekend.

Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault offered her condolences to the family and friends of a 20-year-old man who was shot Thursday evening.

Quebec has announced millions in recent months for police efforts to combat gun violence and gun trafficking. Guilbault said that on Sunday, the government would announce funding to help community groups that work with young people.

On top of policing, Guilbault said, efforts must be made to address the social inequalities that push young people to crime, particularly in some neighbourhoods.

"If we can offer these youth an alternative in life to criminality, we can put in place the winning conditions so everyone has an equal opportunity in these neighbourhoods," Guilbault said.

"We must give tools to those who work closely with these young people who are at risk of becoming criminalized, before they fall into it."

Montreal has seen a spate of gun-related crime in recent months, and the killings of three teenagers this year have prompted calls for more to be done to end the violence.

In mid-November, Thomas Trudel, 16, was shot in the city's St-Michel district as he walked home. No arrests have been made. Jannai Dopwell-Bailey, 16, died after being stabbed outside his school in October. Two people have been arrested in his death. And in February, Meriem Boundaoui, 15, was killed in a drive-by shooting.

Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade called the latest death disheartening.

"What this tells us is the necessity not only to control guns … but also to invest significantly in prevention," Anglade said on Friday. "The proposal from our party is to invest. Every time we invest a dollar in (police), we invest the same amount in prevention."

In the latest case, police were alerted by a 911 call for gunshots in the city's Anjou district at about 7:15 p.m. Police found the 20-year-old in his vehicle with a gunshot wound to the upper body, and he was transported to hospital, where he died early Friday.

A 17-year-old boy was located not far away, also suffering from a gunshot wound. He was transported to hospital but authorities don't fear for his life. Montreal police said he is co-operating with investigators.

On Friday, homicide detectives and crime scene technicians were combing the area where the shooting took place. Const. Jean-Pierre Brabant said police had not made any arrests as of early afternoon.

The killing is the 32nd reported on the island of Montreal this year.

-This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2021.

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