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article imageInnocent man's death in Montreal police shooting sparks protests

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By KJ Mullins     Jun 10, 2011 in Crime
Montreal - On Tuesday two men were dead after Montreal police officers opened fire on a homeless man. One of the bullets hit an innocent bystander who died that evening in hospital. The incident has people protesting in the streets.
Police allege that Mario Hamel, 40, had pulled a knife and taken off on a foot chase when officers opened fire on a busy street corner in Montreal Tuesday morning. Hamel was killed. Another man, on his way to work, was hit by a stray bullet.
Reports say that prior to the officers arriving at the scene Hamel had threatened someone that he knew. The police knew Hamel. He was a resident of the homeless shelter Maison Eugénie-Bernier.
Hamel
suffered from mental illness. The shelter had been trying to get him to see a doctor recently. Hamel had refused to go.
On Wednesday a vigil took place for Patrick Limoges, 36, the innocent victim of the shooting at the hospital where he worked and died. About 200 people stood outside of Montreal's St-Luc Hospital
at noon blocking traffic for the impromptu memorial. For five minutes they stood near where Limoges had been fatally wounded, his bloodstains still visible on the cement.
On Wednesday night protesters painted an outline of a corpse at the crime scene adding "killed by police" in French. According to Huffington Post anti-police protesters were in the streets smashing windows. Some of the protesters were dressed in black or wore black bandannas to hide their faces.
When riot police arrived some of the violent protesters changed into street clothes to blend into the crowds of peaceful protesters. There were no arrests.
As of Thursday the four officers involved in the shooting had still not been questioned. Some of the officers are being deemed as witnesses.
CBC quotes Guy Lapointe, a spokesman for Sûreté du Québec:
"When you meet the major witnesses of a case, you want to be prepared, you want to know a bit of what might have happened and to be able to ask the right questions," he said.
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