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Montreal's Plateau residents calling for increased security after triple homicide

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There are growing calls for more security in Montreal, following a triple homicide in the Plateau on Tuesday, and multiple other violent deaths in recent weeks.

Plateau residents are speaking out after a fight between a large group of people led to three stabbing deaths in the Habitations de Mentana social housing complex parking lot.

The incident left 15-year-old boy and and two men in their early 20s dead. Some residents said they are in disbelief.

Mohammad Mobed saw the fight from his sixth-floor balcony, called 911 and watched first responders arrive.

"They were doing CPR for at least an hour without any results," he said.

Mobed said it's common for large groups of young people to gather in the alleyway, but, in his four years of living in the neighbourhood, he's never seen this type of violence.

Ulrick Peterson Celestin was one of the victims. A neighbour told CTV News Celestin died beside the same building he grew up in.

"Right now, I'm in shock," said Celestin's neighbour Nacera, who did not want to give her last name. "His parents were angels. He was a kind person."

Representatives with Montreal's municipal housing office (OMHM), which manages the complex, met with tenants on Thursday.

"Employees, social workers and police officers went door-to-door to refer residents to resources that support witnesses to violent events," said an OMHM spokesperson said.

Mobed said safety concerns need to be addressed.

"If we could move today, I think we probably would," he said.

There were seven homicides in Montreal in the past two weeks.

The Parti Quebecois (PQ) said further action is required to address what it characterizes as a surge in street violence.

"We want more budget to hire, and, as well, we need to increase the budgets in prevention, especially with community organizations that work with youth and prevention of violence," said PQ leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon.

Quebec Public Security Minister Francois Bonnardel responded on X, saying that the government is increasing recruits at Quebec's National Police Academy by 1,100 and finding funding for another 225 Montreal police (SPVM) officers.

The SPVM said that Tuesday's triple homicide was unrelated to organized crime or gangs and that it was the result of a personal conflict that escalated. 

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