After another teen killed in Montreal, loved ones gather to demand more gun violence prevention

·2 min read
About 100 people gathered at the corner of Rivard and Roy streets to honour 17-year-old Amir Benayad, who was shot and killed there Thursday evening. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada - image credit)
About 100 people gathered at the corner of Rivard and Roy streets to honour 17-year-old Amir Benayad, who was shot and killed there Thursday evening. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada - image credit)

A young teen made his way to the front of a crowd of about 100 people who gathered Sunday to pay homage to 17-year-old Amir Benayad, who was shot and killed earlier this week in Montreal's Plateau-Mont-Royal neighbourhood.

"He was the one who protected me," said the boy, Amir's younger brother, through tears. "They took him away from me."

CBC has agreed not to name him because he is a minor. He said his older brother took him on outings. They made plans together, he said. Sunday, they were supposed to get their hair cut.

Amir was shot near the corner of Rivard and Roy streets in the Plateau Thursday evening, in what was Montreal's first homicide of the year. Police say one or more suspects fled before officers arrived and they are trying to determine what happened and who is responsible for Amir's death.

Rowan Kennedy/CBC
Rowan Kennedy/CBC

The dozens of people gathered in extreme cold temperatures in front of a small park at that corner Sunday in his honour. They denounced gun violence on youth and asked for more measures to prevent it.

Icham Mzili was among them. "We're worried about our kids," said Mzili, who is active in the Algerian community.

"Access to guns must be under control. It must be stopped."

Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada
Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada

Friends of Amir described the 17-year-old as a vibrant young man with a lot of personality.

Amir is the fourth teenager killed in a year in Montreal. Three Montreal teenagers were victims of homicide in 2021, including Meriem Boundaoui, Jannai Dopwell-Bailey, and Thomas Trudel. Hani Ouahd, 20, was also among the youth killed last year.

A police task force was initiated last year and Quebec created a $52 million fund to combat gun violence.

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