‘The guy is dead’: Residents in shock after man killed on Montreal basketball court

Click to play video: 'Family, community say they are stunned and worried after Lachine man gunned down in brazen shooting'
Family, community say they are stunned and worried after Lachine man gunned down in brazen shooting
Family, friends and neighbours of man who was gunned down in Lachine Wednesday evening say they are stunned about the brazenness of the attack that happened in broad daylight and in front of several witnesses. They say they are worried about the number of killings so far this year and want authorities to act before things get worse. Phil Carpenter reports – May 30, 2024

A man gunned down on a Montreal basketball court was playing with his younger brother when he was fatally wounded, his family said.

The victim of the Wednesday night shooting has been identified by family as 27-year-old Keziah McKenzie. He was the father of two young children.

Montreal police were called around 7:30 p.m. to the scene on Roy Crescent near Duff Court Street in the city’s Lachine borough.

According to witness accounts, the suspect approached the victim and shot him in front of a crowd of people before fleeing the scene.

Police say he was injured in the upper body after being hit by at least one projectile and taken to a hospital, where he died. McKenzie’s death is Montreal’s 17th homicide of 2024.

“The victim was on a basketball court with other people when a suspect arrived and fired at him, then fled on foot before the arrival of the police,” SPVM spokesperson Caroline Chèvrefils said.

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No arrests have been made in the case. A command post was set up in the area Thursday as investigators speak with witnesses and gather more information.

Montreal police set up a command post on Thursday, May 30 2024 after a man was gunned down on a basketball court. Phil Carpenter/Global News

The victim’s family members were too distraught to speak publicly, but one relative told Global News that McKenzie got shot protecting his brother.

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The brazen shooting has left families, neighbours and friends of McKenzie shaken in Lachine.

Anna-Elizabeth Evseeva lives near the park. At first thought she heard firecrackers outside, a regular occurrence.

But then she heard screams and saw people running through the streets. The sun hadn’t even set yet.

“I was right there on the stairs and a woman comes up and she’s like ‘The guy is dead, the guy is dead,'” she said.

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Connor Miller grew up with McKenzie, who he described as a “great person and he didn’t deserve this.”

“He was like a brother to me. He was my friend,” Miller said in an interview with Global News. “Honestly, I still can’t believe his happened.”

Residents are also worried about gun violence. Christine John, a mother of four, called the shooting “senseless violence” and doesn’t want to bring her kids back to the park.

“I’m scared for my own safety and the safety of my children,” she said, adding that more surveillance is needed in the area.

Members of the Lachine community also offered their condolences to McKenzie’s family, with John saying it was “unfathomable” and that she can’t even begin to imagine what they are going through.

“I hope the family knows we’re all here for them in the neighbourhood,” Evseeva said.

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