Two men murdered in dramatic St. Henri fire
MONTREAL - Montreal police say two men are dead after a dramatic fire in an apartment building after a conflict in St. Henri on Friday.
One of the two dead men is 29-year-old hip-hop promoter Matt Dutch Garner. The other man's identity has not been disclosed.
Police say several people were involved in a dispute in a triplex on St. Remi St. near Notre-Dame St. at about 5:30 p.m.
A fire broke out in the apartment building. Police believe it may have been arson.
"It looks like something that was planned. It also looks like something that could be related to organized crime in some kind of way or drug related," said Montreal police Const. Anie Lemieux.
Witnesses say they saw a man run out of the triplex in flames and collapse in an alleyway before he was brought to hospital.
"There was fire to his feet to his head... (he was) on fire and he was screaming like hell," said neighbour Patrick Huet.
A second man was found dead inside the apartment.
"Police officers located one man inside the apartment block. His death was pronounced on the scene," said Montreal police officer Dany Richer.
Witnesses say they heard sounds of fighting coming from the apartment.
Both men suffered major burns but police would not confirm the cause of death. Both victims were known to police, who believe the case may have been over a settling of accounts.
Police believe both victims were locked inside the apartment as fire was set to the building. Police say they are seeking three suspects.
Police have not released the names of the victims, but a promotional company called Long Life Productions, which specializes in hip-hop music, confirmed Garner had died Friday night.
"He opened the doors for the world to see Montreal," said a statement on the company's website. "His life was taken last night and left the city in a state of shock."
The incident represents the 32nd and 33rd homicides in Montreal this year.
Many witnesses at the busy intersection spoke to police Friday night. St. Remi was closed off and the force's major crimes unit was investigating.
Anyone with information is asked to call Info-Crime at 514-393-1133.
Friends of Garner have set up a Facebook condolences page and are asking people to light a candle in his honour at 8 p.m. Sunday evening.
With files from The Canadian Press