Slain Montreal bystander remembered as loving, generous

Family and friends of a bystander killed by Montreal police remembered him as a loving son and a willing worker as they gathered Sunday in Trois-Rivières for his funeral.

Hospital worker hit by a stray police bullet while on way to work

Family and friends of a bystander killed by Montreal police remembered Patrick Limoges as a loving son and well-liked co-worker at his funeral in his hometown of Trois-Rivières.

Patrick Limoges was on his way to work when a stray bullet struck him. ((Radio-Canada))

The 36-year-old hospital worker was remembered as a loving son and a willing, popular worker. He was killed Tuesday after he was hit by a stray bullet while he was on his way to work at the Saint-Luc Hospital in Montreal.

Limoges was caught in the fray of a police operation targeting a 40-year-old suspect who was allegedly wielding a knife. That man, Mario Hamel, a resident of a downtown homeless shelter, was also fatally shot.

Outside the funeral home where a visitation for Limoges was held earlier on Sunday, people were stunned and tearful, the CBC's Catherine Cullen reported.

Most said it was a time to mourn, not a time to lay blame. 

"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."

However, Martin Massicotte, who said he was a cousin, had strong words against Montreal police.

"I'm very unhappy with the police brutality and the police system … they killed my cousin."

A funeral was held for Patrick Limoges, 36, in Trois-Rivières on Sunday. (Catherine Cullen/CBC)

Two dozen of Limoges' colleagues at Saint-Luc came out to the funeral. Flowers surrounded a square black and gold urn as tears and hugs were shared among those who visited the funeral home, including two dozen of his colleagues from Saint-Luc.

A note on one bouquet read: "You who were so talented and so generous, paid with your life for the folly of men."

The shooting deaths have sparked an outcry in Quebec about the way police shootings are investigated, and have prompted calls for independent inquiries.

Hundreds gathered in downtown Montreal Wednesday to demonstrate against the shootings.

Quebec provincial police are investigating the deaths. As is protocol, any shooting in which a police officer's gun is fired is investigated by an outside police force.

But critics argue that's not enough. Quebec's ombudsman Raymonde Saint-Germain said civilians must be included in such investigations to eliminate bias.

With files from The Canadian Press