Montreal police chief says officers were targeted by gunfire outside hospital Tuesday morning

·2 min read
Montreal police chief Sylvain Caron held a late-evening news conference on Tuesday, saying two impacts and one projectile at the crime scene indicate the officers were targeted.  (Radio-Canada - image credit)
Montreal police chief Sylvain Caron held a late-evening news conference on Tuesday, saying two impacts and one projectile at the crime scene indicate the officers were targeted. (Radio-Canada - image credit)

Montreal police chief Sylvain Caron says two officers were fired at while leaving the McGill University Health Centre early Tuesday morning.

Caron was visibly upset as he described the incident during a late-evening news conference. He said two impacts and one projectile at the crime scene indicate the officers were targeted.

As soon as the shots were fired, the two officers, who were responding to a call at the hospital, dropped to the ground, Caron said. One female officer's arm was lightly injured, however it is still unknown if she was injured by the gunfire.

The hospital, known as the MUHC, is located near the intersection of Décarie Boulevard and St-Jacques Street. The shots were fired near the south side of the complex at around 1:30 a.m.

Caron said all resources are being directed toward finding the suspect or suspects in this case. He called on the public with any information to contact police.

Caron also offered a word to all his staff, vowing to solve the crime and track down whoever was responsible. He encouraged officers to talk to a colleague, a superior officer or access mental health services if needed.

"Stay vigilant and alert at all times and continue to maintain your excellent relationship with Montrealers," he said.

Caron said he is counting on his officers' commitment despite the adversity they are facing.

Verity Stevenson/CBC
Verity Stevenson/CBC

Insp. David Shane, a spokesperson for the police service, said there are still investigators on the scene going over the evidence.

He said help is being offered to the two officers who were fired upon.

"Physically they are not wounded, but they are definitely shaken by the event so we are giving them all the support necessary," said Shane.

Shane said there are no suspects at this time, but "it's clear to us we are facing an unacceptable situation in our society."

"We cannot allow one or more individuals to attack any member of the justice system, especially our police officers," he said.

Police are, at times, victims of assault while on the job but, he said, this appears to be a targeted attack.

The shooting triggered what is called a code silver (person with weapon) at the hospital until 5 a.m., sending the facility into lockdown.

"From the early morning hours, we have communicated with our employees to update them on the situation, and will continue to follow up with them throughout the day," said Martine Alfonso, MUHC associate president and executive director earlier Tuesday.

She said patient care activities interrupted last night have since resumed.

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