Two 18-year-old men were arrested Wednesday by the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) in an investigation related to arson and shootings targeting a restaurant in the borough of Saint-Laurent, in last February and March.
The Montreal Police Department on Wednesday arrested Nathan Purenne and Haithem Ben Hassine, both 18 years old. They appeared at the Montreal courthouse to face firearms charges.
In the wake of its investigation, the SPVM arrested and released three other suspects, aged 18 and 19. Charges could be filed later, said the SPVM in a press release released Thursday.
Eight searches were also carried out in the boroughs of Plateau-Mont-Royal, Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and Rivière-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles, as well as in Laval, specifies the SPVM. The police seized two handguns, an assault weapon, a high capacity magazine, ammunition, a ghost weapon (made using a 3D printer), narcotics and cell phones.
The investigation concerns a restaurant in the borough of Saint-Laurent, located near the intersection of Deslauriers and Benjamin-Hudon streets. On March 19, more than fifteen people who were inside this restaurant had a scare when the window had been riddled with bullets, around 3:45 a.m. No one had been injured. The police had found casings on the ground, while a suspect had fled in a white car.
The same restaurant had been the target of “arson and gunfire” in February and March, according to the SPVM.
Similar crimes took place in Laval and in the northern crown. The Service de police de Laval (SPL), the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and the SPVM are working together in an investigation and visibility project called Wick to put an end to these acts of violence.
The SPVM affirms that the investigation related to the restaurant in the borough of Saint-Laurent is continuing. It is led by the Multisectoral Firearms Team (EMAF) of the Organized Crime Division, as well as Neighborhood Station 7 (Saint-Laurent) and the Arson and Explosives Unit.
Anyone with information can communicate anonymously with 911, their neighborhood station or with Info-Crime Montreal at 514-393-1133. Rewards of up to $3,000 can be awarded for information leading to arrests.