A man is expected to be charged with first degree murder on Wednesday in connection with Sunday’s stabbing death at a Maxi supermarket in the city’s east end. Montreal police said the Directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP) approved the charge on Wednesday morning.
The suspect, a 19-year-old man, was arrested late Tuesday night at his apartment in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. He did no resist the arrest.
Clémence Beaulieu-Patry, 20, was stabbed while working in the clothing department at the supermarket around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. She was about a half-hour away from finishing her work shift, and died on the scene. Police interviewed roughly 30 witnesses who were in the store at the time.
Montreal police are now thanking the public for information that led to the arrest. Shortly after the stabbing, police distributed a photograph of the man considered to be a suspect in the case. He had fled the scene on foot but was caught on film by the store’s surveillance cameras.
That led to an arrest, Montreal police spokesperson Abdullah Emran said.
“We received a lot of calls from the public,” Emran said. “The arrest is the result of a collaboration between investigators, patrollers and the general public whom we thank for their help.”
He said the suspect knew Beaulieu-Patry, but had few details about the nature of the relationship. The suspect was in a detention centre on Wednesday and police were questioning him.
News of the arrest was welcomed by those who knew Beaulieu-Patry, though they were quick to point out that it doesn’t change the fact that their friend is gone.
“It helps to know that he’s not walking around anymore, and that he’ll pay for what he did,” said close friend Gabriel-Shawan Raymond-Ponce Wednesday morning. “But of course it doesn’t bring Clémence back.”
Raymond-Ponce, 19, described Beaulieu-Patry as someone who was always smiling, who loved life and always knew what to say when others were going through hard times. He’d known her for seven years after they met in their first year of high school at École Secondaire Louis-Riel.
“She would never hurt anyone, and I don’t know why anyone would have wanted to hurt her,” he said.
She had recently started studying at Collège de Maisonneuve and wanted to become a social worker, Raymond-Ponce said. The two had grown closer in the last three years after Beaulieu-Patry started dating his best friend. He wants to know why it happened.
“Why take the life of a girl like her?” he asked. “He didn’t only take her life away, but he took away a part of my best friend.”
Raymond-Ponce said he last saw her Saturday night, when their group of friends all had dinner together. She seemed absolutely fine, he said, smiling as always.
“It’s not like we got to say our goodbyes,” he said. “It’s not like she died after being sick … No one was ready for this to happen, no one was ready for her to leave us like this.
“It’s been three days that we’ve been waking up in the morning hoping that she’s going to text message us, that it’s not real, that she was lost somewhere and that she’s back.”