Family of Montreal man fatally shot by police still waiting for answers one year later

"How can a family like us have to wait a year and still have no answers?" says Michelle Kay, sister of Ronny Kay, the Montreal man shot dead by police last year. The family is demanding transparency from the investigation. Alyssia Rubertucci reports.

By Alyssia Rubertucci

It’s been a year since Montreal police officers fatally shot 38-year-old Ronny Kay on Nuns’ Island while he was in emotional distress.

For his family, his loss is made even more painful by the fact that they still don’t have information on what led to his death.

Ronny Kay

(Courtesy: Michelle Kay)

“We just want to know what happened on that day, on September 17 of last year,” said his sister, Michelle Kay. “Why is it that Ronny got shot? Why did he have to die?”

(Courtesy: Alyssia Rubertucci, CityNews image)

Ronny was shot when he allegedly refused to drop what might have been a weapon, after police were called to his apartment following an argument with his ex-girlfriend.

Quebec’s police watchdog, the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes (BEI), have been tasked with investigating the incident, since it involved a person being injured or killed by police.

In Oct. 2022, when the Kay family was calling for a public inquiry, the BEI told CityNews that they were in contact with the family, but were not at the liberty to discuss the details because of the ongoing investigation.

“When we first met them, they said it’s going to be about three to six months,” said Michelle. “And then after a while, it was nine months. Now, we’re 12 months later, a year later, so explain to us why it took so much time.”

Ronny Kay’s sister, Michelle. (Courtesy: Alyssia Rubertucci, CityNews image)

Michelle says the follow-ups with the BEI have been one-sided.

“It’s a lot of calls, follow-ups from our side to them or from our lawyer to them,” she said. “And even with those follow-ups from from our side no new information.”

Last year, family and supporters protested in November, demanding justice for Ronny.

“It’s not supposed to happen in the city that we think police should serve and protect the community,” Michelle said.

She says police should not have resorted to shooting Ronny while he was in distress.

“Can we provide more services? Can we have the police handle it another way instead of just using a gun?” she asked, while suggesting other means like tasers and communication. “How can a family like us have to wait a year and still have no answers out of this investigation?”

The BEI tells CityNews there are still invest investigative steps to complete in this case.

In a written statement they say: “This investigation required reports whose analysis is still ongoing. In addition, there was a change in the investigator responsible for the file due to the latter’s departure from the BEI. Although the average of BEI investigations is completed in 5.8 months and 96 per cent of our investigation reports are submitted to the DPCP within 9 months or less, certain files require a longer investigation period depending on the particular circumstances. When the file is submitted to the DPCP, the BEI will publish a press release.”

(Courtesy: Michelle Kay)

Michelle says it’s important for her family to know the sequence of events from that day, in order to be able to turn the page and continue their lives.

“As long as we don’t know the truth about what happened, it’s always going to be this dark cloud following us.”

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