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Police called to Laval home hours before woman was stabbed to death

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A 30-year-old man accused of stabbing his aunt to death in Laval Thursday night has been charged with second-degree murder as questions remain unanswered about what happened in the hours leading up to the killing.

Police found the victim, 61-year-old Mireille Martin, with stab wounds after they received a 911 call at around 5:30 p.m. for what they described as an altercation at a home in the city's Vimont district.

She was sent to hospital in critical condition where she was later pronounced dead. Her nephew, Jérôme Alfred Frigault, was arrested at the home, near the corner of Paradis Road and Saint Elzéar Boulevard East, and was later sent to hospital for evaluation.

He was formally charged with murder on Friday at the Laval courthouse. 

Laval police confirmed that they had been called to the home at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, and an intervention took place with the help of paramedics and social workers. They then left the home, only to return about three hours later to respond to the tragedy. 

Police have not released further details about their earlier intervention.

'A KIND-HEARTED WOMAN'

The fatal stabbing has left neighbours in a state of shock.

Aline Breault said her mother saw Martin stumble out of the house past the cars before collapsing to the ground. She then heard a man screaming "Kill me, kill me!" at the police.

Police managed to take away the man — who lived in the same building as the victim — as neighbours watched the dramatic scene unfold.

"She was a kind-hearted woman, always ready to help me," said Lisette Solange, another neighbour.

The victim's ex-boyfriend, who was still in shock, says he's known the accused for years.

"I've known him since he was a child, and he was always a good boy," said André Morin.

Other people who live on the street said they never saw Frigault display aggressive behaviour, but said they are concerned that police were called at the very same house earlier in the day, when the accused called 911.

"We had a first 911 call at 2:30. Our officers were there with some social workers with Urgence Sociale and paramedics with Urgences-Santé. They evaluated someone and they acted upon the legal framework they had," Erika Landry, Laval police spokesperson, told CTV News.

The accused will return to court in January 2024.

POLICE WATCHDOG NOT INVESTIGATING

The Quebec police watchdog, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), confirmed to CTV News that it has not opened an investigation into the police's handling of the case.

The BEI's mandate is to, among other things, investigate all cases in which a civilian dies during a police intervention.

"The BEI has been contacted by the Service de police de Laval. We have all the information we need to analyze the case," the watchdog wrote in an email.

"The BEI considers that the conditions and criteria of the law are not met in order to give it jurisdiction."

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