'Everyone loved' Montreal teen shot dead by police

The brother of the teenager who died after being shot by Montreal police is demanding answers about his death.
Patricia Villanueva holds a photo of her late brother Fredy, 18, at a family wedding earlier this year. Standing behind her are, from left, siblings Wendy, Dany, Gilberto, Maribel Madrid and Lilian. ((Peter McCabe/Canadian Press))

The older brother of the teenager who died after being shot by Montreal police is demanding answers about his death.

Fredy Alberto Villanueva, 18, was hanging out with friends in the Henri-Bourassa arena parking lot Saturday night when he was involved in an altercation with police that left him dead and two others in hospital with gunshot wounds.

His death is believed to have sparked a violent riot in Montreal North the next night, in which more than 20 stores were looted and several cars were torched.

"They took his life, and I now I don't have a little brother anymore," Fredy's older brother Dany told Radio-Canada, the CBC's French-language service, in an emotional interview Monday.

Dany said he was "having fun" Saturday night with Fredy and other friends in the parking lot when a police cruiser pulled up to the group.

Dany said the officer came right over to him and called him by his name because he had issued him a ticket in the past.

"He wanted to arrest me at any price," Villanueva said. "He bent my arm backwards, he took me by the neck, and I started to resist."

Villanueva said when he was thrown to the ground, Fredy piped up.

"My brother said 'What are you doing with my brother? Let go of him.' Then I heard gunshots, and my brother fell to the ground.

"I got into the cop car, and I saw my brother, and there was nothing I could do. They rifled through his bag, and didn't do anything about him," Villanueva said, visibly emotional.

In an official statement, police said they were swarmed by young people in the parking lot and felt threatened.

Provincial police probe shooting

Provincial police have taken over the shooting investigation because it involved police and civilians.

Villanueva hopes the probe will result in a real explanation of what led to his brother's death.

He said he didn't see anyone attack the police, even after he was lying on the ground.

"All I heard was my brother say 'Why are you doing this — let go of him.'

"We didn't see anyone touch the police. They say there were 20 people there. There were about five or six of us. I don't understand."

Fredy's death has cast a shadow on his family and friends, Villanueva said, because "everyone loved him."

"He was a young guy. He just finished [Grade 10]. He wanted to study more. He was just having fun. He was only a kid."

Police said they plan to meet with Villanueva's family this week.

The investigation into the shooting will be public and transparent, Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay said Monday.

"I would like the investigation to be very well understood by the community," Tremblay said. "And I want to assure the community and the family that no effort will be spared in this matter."

Community groups say police will have to work hard to build confidence among residents who generally don't trust authorities.

Some people interviewed Monday in the area where the shootings took place had harsh words for police.

"The investigation will determine if they [police] did not act properly, but for me, I think the police have to take part of the responsibility for what happened," said Jay Jordan, 26.

A resident who preferred not to give his last name said police in the area seem to be targetting people of colour when they're on patrol.

"When I'm alone I'm never accosted. But when I'm with friends who are Pakistani, Haitian or Italian, we're profiled as members of street gangs and we feel like we're criminals," said Maxime, who is Caucasian.