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Suspect in Montreal-area shootings was deemed danger to public but released from psychiatric ward

Suspect in Montreal-area shootings was deemed danger to public but released from psychiatric ward

The suspect in this week’s three fatal shootings in and around Montreal was released from a mental health facility even though a psychiatrist deemed him a “significant risk to public safety,” court documents show.

Those documents, which were obtained by Radio-Canada, also show that Abdulla Shaikh had been previously diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Following recommendations, the Tribunal Administratif du Québec — which handles cases that are related to mental illness — ordered Shaikh to be released in March from a psychiatric facility, under conditions.

The release conditions were imposed to make sure health authorities could monitor Shaikh’s progress. 

At that time, Shaikh’s condition had been improving, the ruling reads. But the tribunal said he could resort to “unpredictable and aggressive” acts if his mental illness worsened.

“Without a legal and therapeutic framework, his situation would deteriorate and bring about the return of the context for dangerous [behaviours],” the tribunal’s ruling reads.

The 26-year-old man was shot and killed Thursday morning during a Montreal police operation at a motel in the city’s Saint-Laurent borough.

Police believe the 26-year-old man fatally shot two men in Montreal Tuesday night and another the following night in Laval.

Shaikh had had several run-ins with the law, including charges of sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm and uttering threats, according to the court documents. In 2018, he was arrested trespassing at the Montreal airport several days in  a row.

WATCH | Learn more about events leading up to Thursday’s police shooting: 

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In one instance, the court documents show, Shaikh was in a restricted zone at the airport and burned his passport with a lighter. In November of that year, he was deemed to be not criminally responsible for his actions.

Shortly after, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. 

As part of his release, the tribunal ordered Shaikh to respect the following conditions: live in a home approved by the hospital, follow the recommendations of the team treating his condition, refrain from using drugs, keep the peace and submit to urine tests when asked. The March ruling also gave the regional health…

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