Riot breaks out after Montreal police shoot teen
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Sunday, August 10, 2008 11:59PM EDT
Montreal police tried to quell a riot Sunday night in the same neighbourhood where an officer fatally shot a teenager. Several cars were set on fire, and one officer was reportedly shot in the leg but suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
There were also reports of looting in the north Montreal community.
The riot happened one day after an apparent altercation between police and a group of youths -- one that ended with 18-year-old Freddy Alberto Villanueva dying from a gunshot wound.
The fatality occurred when police attempted to arrest an individual at a city park in north Montreal. Police said the officers were conducting what appeared to be a routine intervention.
Police apparently called on a young person playing dice at the park to approach their squad car.
"The guy refused," witness Samuel Medeiros told CTV Montreal in French.
That's when police got out of the car and the altercation began, Medeiros said.
Police were apparently surrounded by between six and ten young people. Some of the youths then rushed the officers, police claimed, and one of the officers opened fired.
Witnesses said a female officer may have started firing when one of the youths reached into his pocket, but that has not been confirmed.
Villanueva was taken to hospital where he died from his injuries. Two other people were also wounded in the incident. They're in hospital and reportedly in stable condition.
No police officer was hurt during the altercation, but at some point the window of the police cruiser was broken.
Quebec provincial police are now interviewing witnesses.
"It's too early to say what happened exactly," Quebec provincial police spokesperson Gregory Gomez del Prado told The Canadian Press. "We're talking about the death of a man. It's a big investigation."
Police haven't said what initially led to the intervention and the attempted arrest.
Villanueva's sister, Julissa, told The Canadian Press her brother wanted to study mechanics and had never been in trouble with the law. She said she had no details about the incident.
"We only know what we see in the news, in the newspapers, that's all," she said.
A friend of Villanueva's told CTV Montreal in French, "He was a good guy ... he was far from being a gang member. He was far from dangerous."
With a report by CTV Montreal's Daniele Hamamdjian and files from The Canadian Press