Just between us


What was a loaded gun doing in that house in Dorval?

Anyone who has heard about the tragedy that unfolded on Hamilton Place in Dorval on Monday evening cannot express anything but shock.

A 16-year-old boy was killed. His 12-year-old brother now faces charges of manslaughter and possession of a prohibited weapon. What police describe as a “family handgun” was the weapon used.

Neighbours and family members describe both boys as well mannered, good neighbours. They lived with their mother, a woman who is said to be a devoted mother. The picture is all so normal, except for one thing: What was a loaded gun doing in the house?

This is not the United States. This is quiet, suburban Dorval. A family is destroyed, irreparably shattered. All because there was a gun – a loaded gun – in the house.

Do you know if your neighbours – the ones you say hello to, the ones who are nice, friendly people – keep a gun in their house. It causes you to pause.

Did the same thought cross your mind? Add a comment. Get in on the discussion.

Brenda O’Farrell


  1. This story breaks my heart. Yes, my first question was why would a loaded gun be in the home? The whole tragedy could have been avoided.

    But, now that it has happened, what upsets me so much is the way the crown appears to be dealing with it. The accused is a little boy! I’m sure he’s dealing with the brutal reality of that now. But, did they have to put him in detention and drag him to court within hours? Could they not have taken the time to investigate this further first? If it is a ‘family weapon’, then why is he being charged for possessing it? It makes no sense. He is a child and needs his parents now more than ever.

    I have a 12-year-old son in grade 6 and a 15-year-old daughter. It is unbearable to imagine living through the pain these parents are dealing with. But, it would kill me if my son did something like this and ended up all alone in a detention center and I couldn’t be with him, after having lost my other child. It’s unimaginable.

    Regardless of the circumstances, this family is hurting enough from the loss of their oldest child. Whether it was a tragic accident or a stupid impulsive decision resulting from an inability to truly understand the potential consequences at such a young age, it has to be handled delicately so as to not traumatize this family any further. This family has dealt with enough excruciating pain, so why compound it now?

  2. By bob carpenter

    If you have a loaded gun in you’re home you’re commiting a felony in canada. If you’re gun is left unlocked while unattended, you are commiting a felony in canada. If you point a gun at someone, you are commiting a felony in canada… If you have a Handgun in your house and it is not locked in a locked case, you are comitting a felony. This tragedy could have been easily avoided by mere proper gun ownership. So the real question is, who’s gun was this? How did this 12 year old boy get his hands on it and shoot his brother in the head? If the gun was not licensed in canada it stands to reason it was smuggled illegaly, which begs the question ; why would there be an unlicensed loaded gun in a house in quebec? the only reason is for crime. And now someones been killed, what a surprise. Such a sad thing that could’ve so easily been prevented. However, a 12 year old is mature enough to know the difference between a toy gun and a real gun. He should face serious concequences.

  3. the tragedy hurts.
    what does “prohibit weapon” mean? just means to lock it? Criminal code says 5 years in jail.
    Using gun to protect family? bad! the robber is faster than her because her weapon is locked; if not locked, other day kids can get it! In USA, NRA invented a way to increase their sales: “send armed men to every school”; if it is true, now they should say to “send armed man to every family”. But I don’t think any mother accept an unknown man stay in her home. We should not follow USA where their ancestors left the gun problem to which their kids have to suffer. Canadian had better gun control before Harper (who will not be long). If we really need examples, there are also Australia, Singapore, Japan, … Kids are innocent, the problem comes from the parent!

  4. On the one hand, yes, 12 years old is definitely old enough to understand what a real gun is and its consequences, he is definitely NOT the only one at fault here. Whoever owns that gun, and left it loaded where children could gain access to it is is way more responsible, and I would really like to know why nothing in the media mentions anything about his parents (presumably the owners of the gun) being charged with improperly storing a firearm.

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