Man dead in Saint-Leonard shooting

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Man dead in Saint-Leonard shooting
Man dead in Saint-Leonard shooting

A man was shot in the head and killed Tuesday night in the Montreal neighbourhood of St. Leonard, near the corner of Jean-Talon and Viau streets.

Police confirmed Wednesday morning that the victim of the shooting was 63-year-old Piero Arena, who is known to police for previous acts related to drug trafficking.

Montreal police are calling it the city’s 18th homicide this year.

At about 7:30 p.m., a 911 call came in to say that shots had been fired in the area, and police headed to a residential building near Jean-Talon and Michelet St., just east of Viau.

They located the victim in the garage of the building, an SPVM spokesperson said. He was declared dead at the scene.

It’s a large condo building, said a spokesperson. A neighbour to the building said the garage is located underground.

Police did not confirm how many shots were fired, adding there are no identified suspects.

A RASH OF GUN VIOLENCE

Amid the city’s spike in gun violence, Montreal has reinforced its police force (SPVM) with millions of dollars in funding in recent weeks.

The city’s latest installments will allow police to hire 42 additional officers and civilian aids specifically tasked with investigating criminal groups and staffing anti-gang teams.

While announcing the new funding, Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante affirmed her commitment to fighting gun violence.

“Since the beginning of the year, we have intensified our support for the SPVM and will continue in this direction in order to stop this violence as quickly as possible,” she said.

The morning before Arena was killed, mayors from several municipalities in Quebec unified their voices, calling on federal election candidates to present “clear and firm” gun control policy.

The Liberal government has come under fire for their firearm legislation in the past.

A bill tabled by the Liberal government in February put handgun management in the hands of municipalities, sparking uproar among city officials and gun-control advocates alike.

The Liberal Party is now promising to give provinces the power to legislate on handguns.

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