Police vow organized crime crackdown after 3 shooting deaths in Montreal area

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Published May 13, 2019 1:34 p.m. ET
Updated May 16, 2019 10:45 a.m. ET
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Police in the Montreal area have created a special task force aimed at organized crime after three deadly shootings in busy suburban neighbourhoods in just over a week.

On Saturday, May 4, Salvatore Scoppa was shot and killed while celebrating his son’s confirmation at the Sheraton Hotel in Laval. There were hundreds of people present.

Scoppa, 49, had been named as the target of an attempted murder in 2017, and he was investigated in 2013 in connection with the disappearance of two men.

On Friday night, another man was gunned down, this time in in a pizza restaurant at the DIX30 shopping centre in Brossard. The 25-year-old male victim has not yet been named, but he too was known to police.

On Sunday, 42-year-old Eric Chabot was killed. Chabot was in the front yard of a residence in Terrebonne when he was shot. He died in hospital. Police say his death was likely related to gangsters settling scores.

Laval police chief Pierre Brochet told CTV Montreal on Monday that the gun violence is unacceptable.

“There were families there, children there,” he said of the Scoppa murder. “A number of children had to go into the kitchen. They were crying.”

It’s not yet known whether any of the three killings were linked, but Brochet said police aren’t willing to wait before stepping up their response.

Brochet said organized criminals – “especially Italian mafia” – have recently moved into his city.

“That doesn’t mean that it’s more dangerous for the Laval citizens but … they go the restaurants, they go to cafes, they live there,” he said.

The new task force is a partnership between Laval police, Quebec provincial police and the RCMP. Project Repercussion will target the individuals, restaurants and bars connected to organized crime

A gun and a torched vehicle were found near the scene of the Brossard shooting.

Police have not yet named suspects in any of the killings.

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