Exclusive video shows man shot by Montreal police shortly before fatal incident
Published Tuesday, February 4, 2014 2:29PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 5, 2014 1:41PM EST
Friends and family of the man killed by Montreal police officers this week are portraying Alain Magloire as a caring, loving and brilliant man who did not get the help he needed to deal with his mental illness.
Magloire used to work with children with disabilities and had two children of his own.
He had something of a rebellious spirit, said his friend Wady Salem, and always had kind words for the kids he worked with.
“For us, young kids who wanted to discover life, we identified with him,” he said.
When he worked at Residence Papillon, a respite centre for disabled children, parents would call in and specifically ask if he would be working that day, said Chantale Theroux, the director of the residence.
“Alain, when he would embrace you, you would think you were on a cloud. He was just a loving person, she said.
She said she believes his mental health deteriorated over the years until he became distant, and hard to reach.
“Mental health issues can happen to anybody, and he didn’t deserve this. I think he deserved a bit more help.”
Police say they had several encounters with Magloire in recent weeks, and on Monday he was supposedly walking around and smashing windows near Berri St. and Ontario St.
Exclusive surveillance video obtained by CTV shows Magloire smashing the window at the reception desk at a downtown hostel with a hammer shortly before he was shot.
The video is time-stamped at 10:40 a.m. Monday. Calls describing an agitated man wielding a hammer began coming in shortly before 11 a.m., police had said.
Responding to 9-1-1 calls that Magloire had started to attack someone with a hammer, police rushed to the scene and requested an officer with a taser gun help subdue Magloire.
However, within five minutes of police arriving and before a taser-equipped officer arrived, one police officer shot Magloire, inflicting a wound that proved fatal.
Matthew Pearce of the Old Brewery Mission said he could not help but think that there must have been a better way to restrain Magloire.
Dr. Mimi Israel, head psychiatrist at the Douglas Institute, said the context in which people live should be part of how we examine mental health issues.
If there aren’t supports, such as housing, or follow up, some homeless people who seek treatment may end up back on the street.
Israel pointed out that the problems that lead to situations such as Magloire’s aren’t simple.
Building housing, for example, requires cooperation at the municipal level, the support of the community the housing will be built in, and of course, cash.
“I would say that globally, we have to look at the fact that mental healthcare is always getting less money compared to other parts of healthcare,” she said.
This is the fourth time in four years that Montreal police have shot and killed someone. In 2011 police trying to stop a homeless man armed with a knife shot and killed Mario Hamel and Patrick Limoges, a bystander who was bicycling nearby .
In 2012 a police officer shot Farshad Mohammadi, 34, after he became aggressive at Bonaventure metro station.
Last year the provincial government passed a bill mandating the creation of a civilian oversight board to investigate police violence against the public, however nine months after Bill 12 become law, public security minister Stephane Bergeron has yet to name any members of the board.