Two men were charged Wednesday in connection with a triple homicide that occurred two months ago in Rivière-des-Prairies, which proved to be the deadliest among a series of shootings that has plagued eastern Montreal and continued this week.
The men — Marlon Francisco Villa-Guzman, 25, of Montreal North, and Clifford Domercant-Barosy, 26, of Laval — appeared before a judge at the Montreal courthouse through a videoconference. They are charged with the first-degree murders of Jerry Willer Jean-Baptiste, 29, Jafferson Syla, 29, and Molière Dantes, 63. They are also charged with the attempted murders of Jean-Richard Milius and Alexandre Dunn.
The sixth charge both men face alleges they discharged a firearm toward people who were on a property on Perras Blvd., near the intersection of 53rd Ave.
All of the charges are related to a drive-by shooting carried out on Perras Blvd. in early August. It was by far the worst of a long series of shootings that rattled neighbourhoods in eastern Montreal throughout the summer.
Two days after the triple homicide, Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault stood outside Montreal city hall and announced the creation of a special police squad, headed by the Sûreté du Québec and including Montreal police investigators, dedicated to investigating the trafficking of firearms.
The triple homicide was preceded by shootings in the Rivière-des-Prairies—Pointe-aux-Trembles, St-Léonard and Montreal North boroughs. The day after the three men were killed, Montreal police Insp. David Shane speculated the gun violence could be attributed to the loosening of COVID-19 health measures.
“The reopening seems to have worsened the tension between criminal groups that couldn’t access each other before and are now challenging themselves, in a sense,” Shane said.
Despite Guilbault’s announcement, the shootings have continued. This week alone, Montreal police officers have responded to a shooting in Rivière-des-Prairies and an attempted murder in Montreal North , and on Wednesday a man with reported ties to the Hells Angels was shot in Anjou .
A police source told the Montreal Gazette that so far, the triple homicide does not appear to be related to the many other shootings that preceded it.
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