A ninth homicide since the beginning of the year occurred in the metropolis on Wednesday. The drama adds to the long list of gun violence events in Greater Montreal in recent days. The man who was shot and killed late in the afternoon in the Saint-Michel district was well known to the police: he was to enter the penitentiary on Friday.
The victim, Sébastien Giroux, 36, pleaded guilty to an accessory to murder charge after the fact on March 17.
According to a joint prosecution and defense suggestion, he should be sentenced to three years in prison, but his sentencing was postponed until May 13 for family reasons. He was free, but had to respect conditions.
“It’s a fairly exceptional measure,” Superior Court Judge Marc David said in rendering his decision.
His murder, in the middle of the afternoon, did not leave the residents of the neighborhood unmoved.
This new shooting follows several others that have occurred in Greater Montreal in the past few days. In Laval, Tuesday, an episode of gunfire occurred in the early afternoon in the middle of a residential area. It was already the third event of its kind in three days to occur on Jesus Island.
According to witnesses, a man dressed in black, handgun in hand, advanced in Avenue Shelley, a commercial street in the Saint-Michel district, then four shots rang out. The victim received at least one projectile in the head and collapsed. The suspect then fled on foot.
“I approached the person. She was clearly already gone. The blood didn’t lie. It was I who called the police, ”drops Philippe, who was refueling at a gas station a few meters from the tragedy, and who saw everything.
“A call was made to 911 for sounds similar to gunshots. When the first police arrived on the scene, they found a man with gunshot wounds. His death was pronounced on the spot,” said Constable Mariane Allaire Morin of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM).
The event occurred near the corner of Avenue Shelley and Boulevard Crémazie, near a place known to the police.
No arrests had taken place on Wednesday evening, said the SPVM, which will try to establish the circumstances surrounding the event.
A large perimeter was established in Avenue Shelley, between Boulevard Crémazie and Rue Michel-Ange, where forensic identification technicians were at work on Wednesday evening.
The investigation is being conducted by SPVM Major Crimes investigators. This is the ninth murder committed this year in Montreal.
Jane Sokalski, who lives a few meters from the crime scene, was on her balcony when the tragedy happened. “Shortly after 4 p.m. I heard two big booms, I thought something had fallen to the ground. I realized what had happened when the police arrived,” she said. The fact that the event happened very close to her home worries her. “Besides, it was broad daylight,” exclaims the woman.
François Nadler, who lives in Laval, is also worried. His two daughters live in the neighborhood with their mother.
A few meters further, Abdel Kader and his two friends observe the scene, amazed. “I train at the gym next door. I think it can happen to anyone. I don’t feel 100% serene. Life will go on, but you have to be on your guard, it seems. »
On May 24, 2017, Sébastien Giroux was accompanying hitman Frédérick Silva when the latter shot and killed Daniel Armando Somoza-Gildea, a client of a strip club in downtown Montreal, following an argument.
Silva was then already wanted for an attempted murder of the mafia clan leader Salvatore Scoppa, in February of the same year.
After the bar patron was murdered, Giroux fled by car with Silva, who never returned home afterwards.
Thus began a long run of almost two years during which Silva killed three other men in the fall of 2018.
According to a summary of facts filed in court, Giroux then helped Silva obtain a passport under a false name.
It was for this reason that Giroux was charged as an accessory after the fact and pleaded guilty on March 17.
Until his entry into the penitentiary on May 13, Giroux had to respect several conditions. In particular, he had to stay at his address, respect a curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., not leave Quebec and not be in the physical presence of people with criminal records, except the brothers Jean Ismaël and Emmanuel Zéphir, whose is the godfather of his child.
In addition to the Zéphir and Silva brothers, Sébastien Giroux, nicknamed Scratch, was considered by the police to be close to the defunct Syndicate gang, as well as a member in good standing of the Hells Angels of the Montreal section and his henchmen.
Silva was sentenced to life in prison without eligibility for parole for 25 years for the three murders committed while on the run.
Last week, he admitted that the prosecution’s evidence was conclusive in the Daniel Armando Somoza-Gildea murder case, and he will receive his sentence in the coming days.