Family of bystander shot by Montreal police shocked by death

Five days after he fell in a hail of police gunfire, the shock of an innocent bystander’s death at the hands of Montreal police remains raw.

Stephane Abran talks to the media about his cousin Patrick Limoges after his funeral on Sunday. Limoges was heading to work at a Montreal hospital last Tuesday when he was shot as police fired at a man who allegedly threatened them with a knife.

Stephane Abran talks to the media about his cousin Patrick Limoges after his funeral on Sunday. Limoges was heading to work at a Montreal hospital last Tuesday when he was shot as police fired at a man who allegedly threatened them with a knife.

TROIS-RIVIERES, Que. — Five days after he fell in a hail of police gunfire, the shock of an innocent bystander’s death at the hands of Montreal police remains raw.

Patrick Limoges was remembered in his hometown of Trois-Rivieres, Que., on Sunday at a service where his death was still seen as an incredulous occurrence.

The 36-year-old hospital worker was one of two men to die from the police shooting — authorities were pointing their guns at a homeless man who allegedly threatened them with a knife when Limoges was caught in the crossfire.

Mentally ill Mario Hamel, 40, was laid to rest a day earlier, at a small service in Montreal where mourners expressed similar feelings of disbelief at police actions.

Those who gathered to remember Limoges Sunday shared hugs and shed tears at the funeral which included a memorial slideshow and speeches from his parents, brother and sister.

Flowers surrounded Limoges’ square black and gold urn with a note on one bouquet reading, “You who were so talented and so generous, paid with your life for the folly of men.”

Some fought to control their emotions but reserved judgment on the circumstances of Limoges’ death.

Suzanne Champagne, a friend of Limoges’ mother, said the shooting was “like a bad dream.”

“Considering the circumstances, nobody is guilty” she told reporters gathered under grey skies. “But he’s gone.”

Others were more vocal about their opinions.

“I’m very unhappy with the police brutality and the police system,” said Martin Massicotte. “They killed my cousin.”

Stephane Abran, another cousin, said it was a very hard time for the family.

“It’s very tough for them,” he said. “But they are just thinking more philosophical about it, like it’s really bad luck for him and it’s not supposed to happen like that.”

Abran, who described Limoges as someone he always enjoyed being around, appeared to have mixed feelings over the police actions himself.

“I cannot say if I’m angry or not, I’m just like, let’s just say, I’m disappointed.”

There were also those who said they were waiting for the findings of a probe into the incident by Quebec provincial police.

“It’s a horrible accident, but I want to see the results of the investigation,” said Jacqueline Alarie-Limoges, a relative, as she fought back tears. “But I don’t put the blame on anyone. I think ( the police) did their work the best they knew how.”

Meanwhile, a man who said he was Patrick Limoges’ boss, but who asked not to be identified, questioned the actions of officers.

In an open letter, he wrote that security guards at his hospital regularly deal with agitated people and manage to control them without guns.

The incident has raised questions about why officers couldn’t have used other means, such as stun guns, to end the apparent confrontation with Hamel.

A friend who said he knew Hamel for two years had described him as a person with “very light” psychological troubles, which appeared to be under control when he took medication.

Another friend who was at the Hamel’s Saturday memorial told a local TV station his death was “disgusting” particularly because it was a case of one man with a knife against four officers with guns.

The Quebec government says 72 people in the province have been killed or seriously injured by a bullet during police operations since 1999.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer College (Contributed photo)
RDC tuitions to go up 7%

Tuition increase the maximum allowed under provincial rules

This unicorn was stolen from the small community of Delia, northeast of Drumheller on Friday and was recovered, with its bronze horn broken off, on Saturday. RCMP are looking for information on the suspects.
(Photo from RCMP)
Unicorn statue stolen from Delia recovered

Statue found with horn broken off in field about 15 km from Delia

(Advocate file photo)
Lacombe man whose manslaughter sentence was rejected by judge has new lawyer

Judge rejected proposed seven-year sentence for manslaughter in connection with 2019 homicide

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a news conference at Rideau cottage in Ottawa, on Friday, March 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Liberals to release federal budget with eye on managing crisis, post-pandemic growth

OTTAWA — The federal government will this afternoon unveil its spending plans… Continue reading

Patches are seen on the arm and shoulder of a corrections officer in the segregation unit at the Fraser Valley Institution for Women during a media tour, in Abbotsford, B.C., on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Correctional Service Canada says three inmates at Fraser Valley Institution recently tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Drumheller Institution inmate dies in custody

Inmate’s April 15 death under investigation

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

In this Feb. 24, 2020, photo, the Olympics rings are reflected on the window of a hotel restaurant as a server with a mask sets up a table, in the Odaiba section of Tokyo. The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with less than 1% vaccinated. This of course is spilling over to concerns about the postponed Tokyo Olympics that open in just over three months.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Will Japanese Olympians be vaccinated ahead of the public?

TOKYO — The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with… Continue reading

PSG's Kylian Mbappe, right, greets Bayern's Lucas Hernandez at the end of the Champions League, second leg, quarterfinal soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich at the Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, France, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
PSG, Bayern the big names missing from Super League plan

DÜSSELDORF, Germany — The plan for the new Super League soccer competition… Continue reading

In this image released by Paramount Pictures, Marion Cotillard, left, and Brad Pitt appear in a scene from "Allied." (Daniel Smith/Paramount Pictures via AP)
Leo Carax’s ‘Annette’ to open Cannes Film Festival

Leo Carax’s “Annette,” starring Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver, will open the… Continue reading

From left, Producer Doug Mitchell, actor Chris Hemsworth and director George Miller attend at a press conference to announce the new "Mad Max" film at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney, Monday, April 19, 2021. (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)
‘Mad Max’ prequel shot in Outback to be released in 2023

SYDNEY, Australia — A prequel to the “Mad Max” movie franchise starring… Continue reading

In this Feb. 1, 2021 file photo, emissions from a coal-fired power plant are silhouetted against the setting sun in Independence, Mo. President Joe Biden faces a vexing task as he convenes a virtual climate summit on Thursday. He is expected to present a nonbinding but symbolic goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that will have a tangible impact not only on climate change efforts in the U.S. but throughout the world. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
Biden pressed on emissions goal as climate summit nears

WASHINGTON — When President Joe Biden convenes a virtual climate summit on… Continue reading

Women wearing masks wait near an advertisement ahead of the Auto Shanghai 2021 show in Shanghai on Sunday, April 18, 2021. Automakers from around the world are showcasing their latest products this week in the world's biggest market for auto vehicles. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
VW, Ford unveil SUVs at China auto show under virus controls

SHANGHAI — Volkswagen, Ford and Chinese brands unveiled new SUVs for China… Continue reading

Investigators from the Vancouver Police Department were in Chilliwack Saturday, collecting evidence connected to a double homicide. (file photo)
Police investigate shooting death of man outside downtown Vancouver restaurant

Vancouver police say one man was killed in what they believe was… Continue reading

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start registering people 18 years and older for COVID-19 vaccines

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government says it’s inviting people 18 years… Continue reading

Most Read