Montreal police head to the northeast searching for witnesses to a string of shootings
MONTREAL -- Montreal police (SPVM) officers are knocking on doors and talking to people in the hopes of finding new leads in a string of shooting sprees that left four people with gunshot wounds in a single night.
"For starters, we've increased our presence in the area since the shootings," said SPVM commander Eric Breton. "Now, we're here to meet with people."
Investigators suspect the four shootings are linked and could involve two or more groups from different territories.
They are hoping to get some clues from potential witnesses but may have trouble doing so as not everyone in Montreal's northeast trusts the police or are worried about possible repercussions if they come forward.
The anti-gang youth group Equipe RDP was on hand to assist for this reason.
"The only way for the Black community to be confident with the police is if the police is working with them," said Equipe RDP director Pierreson Vaval. "We will always be there to influence them, to give them orientation, successful orientation, and an approach so we can solve the problem, not disrupt the community but help the community."
Breton said working with organizations like Equipe RDP is paramount especially when people are hesitant to come forward.
"We want to go with these groups, and tell people we need information," he said. "Talk to us. Without you, we cannot succeed at fixing anything. Getting closer with people in the community is what we're aiming for."
SPVM officers hope to break down barriers of mistrust and make the community safer.