A week after a brazen hotel shooting, Laval police say they are doubling down on efforts to fight organized crime on their territory.
Children were among those present when a gunman opened fire in a busy part of Laval’s Sheraton Hotel last Saturday night.
Laval police chief Pierre Brochet called the public nature of the crime “unacceptable.”
“We can’t accept these kinds of violent crimes,” Brochet told CBC Montreal’s Daybreak. “There were hundreds of people there. We were really lucky that nobody else was shot.”
Brochet announced the creation of a new investigative unit — dubbed Project Répercussion — in collaboration with Quebec provincial police and the RCMP.
Investigators will target individuals, restaurants and bars with ties to organized crime, Brochet said.
“The goal is to put more pressure on organized crime. We want to tell them that we won’t accept those kinds of violent crimes in public,” he said.
The victim in the shooting has been identified as Salvatore Scoppa, a 49-year-old man with ties to the Montreal Mafia.
Scoppa’s criminal record includes guilty pleas for assault causing bodily harm and breaking and entering.
He was the brother of Andrew Scoppa, alleged to be an influential figure in the Montreal Mafia.
3 fatal shootings in 8 days
The Laval shooting was the first of three fatal shootings in the Montreal area in the span of eight days.
A 25-year-old man was gunned down Friday night in a Brossard restaurant on Montreal’s South Shore.
On Sunday night, another man was shot dead outside a residence in Terrebonne.
Brochet said it’s too soon to say whether the shootings are linked.
In Laval, he said, there have been an average of three or four deaths linked to organized crime every year.
In 2019, there have already been four, and “that’s too much.”
He said there has been speculation the public shootings are carried out by criminals hired by the Mafia, and those groups “don’t have the same level of ethics.”
“But I don’t accept that explanation. I think when you are in crime, and you give a contract, you are responsible for that,” Brochet said.