Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante vowed to continue to efforts to curb gun violence in the city following the tragic death of a 16-year old boy Sunday night.
The teen was gunned down near a school in a residential neighbourhood located in Montreal’s Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension borough after he was approached by a suspect.
“It’s difficult to imagine, to understand,” Plante said in French.
“I know he was 16, but … it’s too young. It makes no sense.”
Plante extended her condolences to the boy’s family, friends and loved ones after placing some flowers at a makeshift memorial where Thomas Trudel was killed.
“Our heart is with them. Their loss is unbearable,” she said promising no efforts would be spared to find those responsible.
Plante also took a moment to reassure the community at large.
“We’re here to show our support and say that we will work day and night to find out what happened and to ensure that we have safe communities,” she said.
Plante said the city is working in concert with community organizations and the Montreal police department to that end.
Montreal Police Chief Sylvain Caron echoed that sentiment, adding more outreach work needs to be done with youth.
“How is it that in 2021, youth are getting weapons at 16, 15 or 18 years old?” he said.
While gun violence has been on the rise in the city, Plante says police have been doing their job by seizing firearms and removing them from circulation.
Caron said over 550 arms have been seized so far this year.
In September, Quebec announced $90 million to hire more than 100 police officers and experts to fight gun-related crime across the province.
Plante said that both local and provincial police have deployed several strategies to take guns off the street but the federal government needs to do more.
“Ultimately it’s about who will prohibit those guns and the federal has that capacity,” she said.
As for the investigation, Caron said it was progressing but did not mention any new developments.
So far, no arrests have been made and police are asking for the public’s help.
Anyone with information is being asked to call 911 or the anonymous Info-Crime line at 514-393-1133. It is also possible to leave a tip online at the Info-Crime website.
Trudel’s killing was the 31st homicide in Montreal in 2021. He is the third teenager killed this year and the second to die in the past month after 16-year-old Jannai Dopwell-Bailey was stabbed to death outside his school Oct. 18.
A march is planned on Saturday in honour of Trudel and the other teen victims, organized by a local community organization Forum Jeunesse de St-Michel.
— with files from Global News’ Gloria Henriquez and The Canadian Press