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Montreal won’t become ‘playground for criminals’ after 2 brazen killings, mayor says

Click to play video: 'Montreal’s mayor speaks out day after two men shot in broad daylight'
Montreal’s mayor speaks out day after two men shot in broad daylight
WATCH: Montrealers are shaken after two brazen shootings left two people dead on Tuesday. Mayor Valérie Plante held a news conference to address the situation. Global’s Phil Carpenter reports – Aug 24, 2022

Leaders in Quebec and Montreal are looking to reassure citizens after two men were killed in a brazen pair of mid-day shootings just 30 minutes apart in the city this week.

Mayor Valérie Plante told reporters Wednesday the incidents of gun violence are likely linked to the “settling of criminal accounts” but understands people are worried.

“Montreal will not become a playground for criminals,” she said at a press conference, adding the police department is working hard as the investigation continues.

Her comments come after a 44-year-old man was gunned down in the parking lot of Rockland shopping centre early Tuesday afternoon in the Town of Mount Royal. A second man was fatally shot in a restaurant in the Ville-Marie borough about 30 minutes later.

Read more: 2 men dead after brazen mid-day shootings in Montreal

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Montreal police have not arrested any suspects in what they say are the 20th and 21st homicides of the year. On Wednesday, investigators located a car that may have been used by a suspect involved in the first shooting.

Sophie Roy, interim chief of the city’s police department, said her thoughts are with the victims’ families and she will “never accept what is happening right now” in Montreal.

Meanwhile, Plante said she spoke with Quebec Premier François Legault and with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the shootings. She asked for more financial resources to deal with gun violence — and for the federal government to clamp down on handguns.

“And how it has to be more than a freeze on handguns,” Plante said. “It has to be a ban.”

READ MORE: Ottawa kicks in nearly $42M to help Quebec in fight against gun violence

Legault, for his part, took to social media to say the provincial government “will not skimp on the means to restore order and protect citizens” in the city. Quebec will also support police “to put an end to this violence,” he added.

“We will not accept, as a government, that Montreal becomes a shooting range for gangs,” he wrote.

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— with files from Global News’ Phil Carpenter and Karen Macdonald

Click to play video: '2 men killed in brazen broad daylight shootings in Montreal'
2 men killed in brazen broad daylight shootings in Montreal

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