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Family of Montreal man who died in police shooting demands public inquiry


The family of a 38-year-old man from Nun's Island who died after being shot by Montreal police last month is now demanding a public inquiry.

Ronny Kay, who was apparently in emotional distress at the time, was shot when he allegedly refused to drop what might have been a weapon.

Kay's family says he did many things during his lifetime. He was a full-time financial advisor for Desjardins who did some television work on the side, appearing in local television programs and in several commercials.

Ronny Kay, seen here in this photo, worked for the Red Cross and travelled the world, his family said. (Submitted photo)

He worked for the Red Cross and travelled the world. Kay spoke four languages including Cantonese, his parents’ mother tongue, and volunteered at homeless shelters.

“He's a young man working, a good citizen, a citizen that is doing a lot to the community. Someone who has potential,” said his sister, Michelle, as she was surrounded by other relatives at her late brother’s apartment.

But Kay’s life was cut short on Sept. 17.

His family says his ex-girlfriend had allegedly dropped by unannounced to pick up her personal belongings after a break-up.

According to Le Devoir, there was a dispute. The woman called the police, which led to a confrontation because a weapon was possibly involved. Police then stepped back and shot him.

Kay collapsed on the street and was pronounced dead in hospital.

Immediately after the tragedy, the Quebec police watchdog, the independent investigation bureau (BEI), took over the case, a standard procedure when a person is injured by a police firearm. As a result, Montreal police won’t comment on the case.

The BEI said Kay might have been armed.

“My mom lost her only son. He was taken away. And no one reached out to us to say what happened that day, no law enforcement, whether it's a simple representative of them, nobody,” Michelle Kay said, with her tearful mother by her side.

“It's like three weeks where we're just waiting, everytime I ask questions, they say we have to wait for the inquiry to be done,” she said.

The grieving family hired lawyer Virginie Dufresne-Lemire who specializes in cases involving police interventions when someone is injured or killed.

She has represented families of victims who were shot by officers and is once again raising questions about the police’s use of lethal force when confronted with a person in crisis.

“We often see that there are options. And there is more and more knowledge about how police should intervene with people in emotional distress,” Dufresne-Lemire said.

“There is a way to talk to these people, questions, to open a negotiation, a conversation, because it's worth taking your time to save a human life,” she said.

The Kay family said just a few explanations from police would have gone a long way towards helping them understand what might have happened. Top Stories


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