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Published on Aug 11, 2008
Police officer shot, 2 others injured as riot erupts in Montreal Violence sparked by protest against fatal shooting Saturday by police.
Hundreds of riot police chased a group of roving youths early Monday after a night of rioting and vandalism in a North Montreal neighbourhood set off by the fatal police shooting of an 18-year-old man over the weekend.
Two police officers were injured, including a female officer shot in the leg, after rioters set several fires and clashed with police in the streets of Montreal North late Sunday, Montreal municipal police spokesman Ian Lafrenière said.
An ambulance technician also suffered minor injuries.
"We don't fear for their lives," Lafrenière said of the injured.
Plumes of acrid smoke filled the air above the low-income housing units from cars and garbage bags set ablaze on several streets, the CBC's Justin Hayward reported from the scene. A propane tank was also set on fire, sending blasts of flames into the sky.
Fire trucks arriving to fight the blazes were pelted with beer bottles, police said.
Police arrested several people on the streets.
People were apprehended with guns ... so we're talking about criminalized people," Lafrenière said.
The park is in a predominantly Haitian neighbourhood where tensions between police and young people run high, according to residents.
"The police are always creeping around here, hassling people," one unidentified youth told CBC News as he stood in front of a looted butcher shop.
Altercation in park led to shooting The violence began after a Sunday afternoon protest at Henri Bourassa Park, the site of Saturday's police shooting, where two other young men were also wounded as two police officers attempted to make an arrest.
Police said a group of 20 young people surrounded the officers and some members of the group rushed toward them.
At that point, one of the officers opened fire, police said.
One man died of his wounds in hospital. Two other young men, age 18 and 20, suffered non-life-threatening injuries and are reported to be in stable condition.
The dead man's sister identified him as Freddy Alberto Villanueva. Julissa Villanueva said the family has no information about the incident, beyond what they've heard and read in the news.
Quebec provincial police have taken over the investigation into the shooting and are in the process of interviewing witnesses.
"It's too early to say what happened exactly," said provincial police spokesman Gregory Gomez del Prado. "We're talking about the death of a man. It's a big investigation."