A 35-year-old man has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder after allegedly killing his mother and grandmother on Sunday morning.

Christian Pépin was charged at the Montreal courthouse Monday afternoon with the crimes, while several family members looked on, appearing very upset.

Police received a 911 call at 3:15 a.m. Sunday saying two people had been attacked by an armed assailant in an apartment on Souligny Ave. near Aubry.

Officers found the two victims with injuries to their upper bodies. A 55-year-old woman was declared dead on the scene while the other victim, a 75-year-old woman, was taken to hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.

Pépin was arrested at the scene. He had just been released from prison and was living with his mother, who was undergoing cancer treatment. Neighbours say he was living there to assist her and do some household work.

Police did not reveal a motive for the murders. While Pépin was known to police, they had never received a call about violence in the residence. 

One neighbour described the 55-year-old as the apartment co-op's administrator.

"She was very nice, the problem is her son," he said. 

Police said the man had previous run-ins with the authorities. 

Another neighbour told CTV Montreal that he was friends with the 55-year-old victim -- they worked together, he explained, and would often talk.

"She had cancer-- she started chemo just about a month ago," he said. "She was sick, she was depressed."

Pépin returns to court on Jan. 10.

It’s the 20th and 21st homicides of the year on the island of Montreal.