Teen boy among three dead after knife brawl in Montreal

Click to play video: 'Grief, outrage after triple homicide in Montreal'
Grief, outrage after triple homicide in Montreal
WATCH: Family members of one victim, community workers and politicians are reacting to the triple homicide in Montreal's Plateau Mont- Royal borough. The killings are the latest in a spate of violence over the last week, some involving young people. As Global's Phil Carpenter reports, some are calling for more violence prevention efforts targeting youth – May 22, 2024

A triple homicide investigation is underway after three people were killed in a violent brawl in Montreal.

Montreal police were called just after 7 p.m. Tuesday to a fight involving a large group of people in an alleyway off Mentana Street in the city’s Plateau-Mont-Royal borough.

Three male victims — aged 15, 23 and 25 — were rushed to hospital in critical condition with what police described as serious stab wounds. Police later confirmed they died from their injuries.

“There was an unfortunate event that was not premeditated,” Jean-Sébastien Caron, head of Montreal police’s major crimes division, said in an update Wednesday.

The youngest victim is “extremely young” to die in a street fight, he said.

“I honestly don’t remember when we had a victim younger than 15,” Caron told reporters.

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Click to play video: 'Montreal brawl leads to triple homicide investigation'
Montreal brawl leads to triple homicide investigation

At least 15 people were involved in what he described as a “conflict that devolved.” The fight — which Caron called a “chance event” — was not linked to organized crime or gang activity, he added.

“For sure the persons knew each other but we don’t know exactly what the conflict was about,” Caron said.

A cameraperson shoots at the scene of a fight that left three people dead, Wednesday, May 22, 2024 in Montreal. Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

No arrests have been made, but Caron said investigators have identified a few of the suspects.

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Police are still canvassing the neighbourhood, gathering video evidence and searching for people involved in the fight. Caron said authorities are also speaking to witnesses — many of whom aren’t cooperative.

A command post was put up on Rachel Street near the site of the incident. Rachel was closed between avenue Christophe-Colomb Avenue and St-André Street.

The deaths are the city’s 14th, 15th and 16th homicides of 2024.

Deadly month in Montreal

The fatal brawl comes amid a deadly month in Montreal, which has seen seven homicides in the last 10 days.

Caron said that while all homicides are concerning, the recent deaths appear to be mostly isolated incidents. All but one involved knives rather than guns, pointing to unplanned events or “conflicts that degenerated,” rather than violence related to street gangs or organized crime, he said.

The head of major crimes also noted that gun crime has been lower than usual in the city. Police have also been successful in finding and arresting people in recent homicide cases, he added.

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Caron said that with between 25 and 35 murders a year, Montreal compares favourably to many big North American cities when it comes to violent crime.

“Montreal is an extremely safe city in terms of the homicide rate,” he said.

Alain Vaillancourt, the City of Montreal’s executive committee member responsible for public security, said his thoughts are with the victims’ families and that “what happened yesterday is shocking and the series of murders in recent days is worrying.”

“The events of the last few days are isolated, investigations are underway by the SPVM (Montreal police) and some suspects have already been quickly arrested,” an emailed statement read.

He said police are “deploying all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the metropolis this summer.”

— with files from Global’s Phil Carpenter and The Canadian Press

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