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Families worried in Lachine neighbourhood after father killed on basketball court

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Police and intervention workers were making house calls in Lachine's Duff Court neighbourhood Friday, two days after a young father was killed on a basketball court in front of families.

The neighbourhood is reeling from the shooting death in broad daylight, and there are growing concerns about safety.

Keziah De-Shong Mckenzie was playing basketball with his younger brother when he was gunned down early Wednesday evening.

He was 27 years old and leaves behind two children.

"There's been an escalation this year of people feeling insecure, young children feeling insecure," said borough mayor Maja Vodanovic, who went door-to-door with police officers and community organizations.

They're pointing people towards social services while trying to get a sense of what is changing in the area.

"The kids are telling us that they're scared to walk outside at night. Families are also scared for their children," said Stephanie Parent of Carrefour Jeunesse Emploi Lachine, an after-school program for kids and teens in Duff Court.

She said children witnessed the shooting.

"That brings a lot of fear to a community. So sometimes some people don't know where to get the help. And that's why it's really important for us today -- to take the time to talk to everyone in the neighbourhood and let them know that they're not alone in this," she said.

Police and intervention workers spoken to the community in Lachine's Duff Court after a shooting death. (Angela Mackenzie)One community group was handing out flyers, encouraging fellow residents to take charge of the neighbourhood.

 

Vodanovic said they're trying to find out why tensions are rising in the community.

"That was never the situation before. There were never gangs in Lachine. I mean, people would say that, but it didn't exist. And so now we just don't want it to exist. So that's why we want to stop it. If there is any, we want to stop it," she said.

Montreal police have made no arrests in the case so far and are still investigating Mckenzie's death.

"It's a very, very good family and we don't know what's going on," said Vodanovic. "We don't know why this happened."

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