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Montreal police say street fight that killed 3 young people was not gang-related

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A violent brawl that ended with the stabbing deaths of three young people, including a 15-year-old boy, in Montreal Tuesday evening was not related to street gangs, but rather a "personal conflict," police say.

After getting several 911 calls at around 7 p.m., police said that the three people were sent to hospital in critical condition after a conflict in an alleyway on Rachel Street between Saint-Andre and Mentana streets in the city's Plateau-Mont-Royal borough. On Wednesday morning, police confirmed that they all had died. The other two victims were 23 and 25 years old.

No arrests have been made as of Wednesday evening as major crime investigators try to piece together what happened.

"[It was a] conflict that degenerated that unfortunately led to the deaths of three people, including a 15-year-old teenager," said Cmdr. Jean-Sébastien Caron, head of the major crimes unit, at a news conference on Wednesday. "The people who died participated in the conflict, so we're trying to figure out who did what."

The deaths have been confirmed as the city's 14th, 15th and 16th homicides of 2024. Ulrick Peterson Célestin, 25, was one of the victims.

His father, Jean-Marie Célestin returned to the crime scene Wednesday as he and others try to make sense of the tragedy.

Jean-Marie Célestin speaks about the loss of his son who was fatally stabbed in Montreal. (CTV News)

"I don't really know what happened to make it degenerate in such a way as to have three deaths, three sorrows, three different parents with sorrows," the grieving parent said. "The 15-year-old, the 23-year-old, plus my 25-year-old son."

He said his son leaves behind a two-year-old daughter.

Around 15 or 16 people were involved in the fight and many witnesses are not cooperating with police, according to the head of the Montreal police major crime unit, Jean-Sebastien Caron.

He said at a news conference on Wednesday that he was particularly troubled by the age of the youngest victim in Tuesday's killings.

"I honestly don't remember when we had a victim younger than 15," he told reporters.

Cmdr. Jean-Sébastien Caron, head of the SPVM major crime unit, speaks to the media on Wednesday, May 22, 2024. (CTV News)

The Centre de services scolaire de Montréal confirmed that the 15-year-old victim attended one its schools.

"Our thoughts are with the family. We wish them our most sincere condolences," the school service centre wrote in an email to CTV News.

"The school's intervention resources are mobilized in an active and caring presence with students and staff. A police investigation is underway and we offer our full cooperation."

A classmate of the 15-year-old came to lay flowers at the site. Angelique says the principal of her school broke the news to students.

"A lot of people started crying. He was a good guy, super nice," she said.

At the crime scene, Célestin pointed out that it was in the same building of the parking lot where his son was found dead that he had raised him — the place where his family lived for 15 years.

He had a message for other Montreal youth: "Instead of doing this kind of thing, get help."

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