Identified victim of the shooting at Saint-Léonard; Montrealers shaken by a new wave of violence
The people of Cartierville say they are upset by something that has become too common there this year, as in several areas of Montreal: gunshots, sometimes fatal, even in some of the busiest places in the city.
boul. Laurentian in Cartierville is one of those busy arteries, but that hasn’t stopped the perpetrators of the city’s most recent shooting, which injured a 17-year-old on Tuesday night.
“I didn’t hear the shooting but it doesn’t surprise me,” a local said on Wednesday.
âThis neighborhood has become like Harlem here, you know – every week we hear gunshots left and right,â said another. “I don’t think it’s become a good place to raise children here.”
The teenager was walking with two friends along the Laurentian River when they were shot shortly after 10 p.m., police said. The gunman fled and there were no arrests. The boy sustained upper body injuries and is in stable condition.
“When possible, investigators will meet with the victim to see if she can explain the situation,” said a spokesperson for the Montreal police.
The previous shooting victim was not so lucky from a health point of view: a 39-year-old man was shot dead on Monday in Saint-LÃ©onard.
The victim was identified as Kevin Batebi, and he was killed as he left his job at a local grocery store.
He was not known to the police, they said.
YOUNG PEOPLE TRYING TO TAKE ACTION
Not only parents but young people themselves say they are increasingly worried about the frequency of shootings, and some are speaking out.
Mohamed Mimoun, a community worker in Saint-Michel, said he was fed up with gun violence and the toll it entails.
âI find another person’s death sad in general,â he said. “When he’s a youngster, it’s worse, because he has his whole life ahead of him, to succeed, to change.”
After the shooting last month that killed Thomas Trudel, a 16-year-old boy from Saint-Michel, Mimoun organized a march against guns. It has drawn politicians from all levels of government, he said – but the action has been slow to follow.
âThere are two areas to work on,â Mimoun said. “Prevention is really a medium and long term job”, finding ways to keep young people away from bad environments and guns.
“The second is really about guns – how to create gun control so they’re not accessible to young people.”
In the wake of Trudel’s death, a group of the boy’s friends also organized to lobby for gun control.
But Mimoun said that at the current rate, he expects more young people to be victimized before any meaningful changes are put in place to change the situation.