06/08/2011 07:49 EDT | Updated 08/08/2011 05:12 EDT

Montreal Police Shooting: Bystander Victim As Police Shoot And Kill Two

Flickr: alexandermensa

THE CANADIAN PRESS -- MONTREAL -- Montreal police shot and killed two people Tuesday -- a homeless man during a confrontation, and an innocent bystander who happened to be walking by on his way to work.

Authorities would not reveal any other details about the bystander, other than his age and the fact that the 36-year-old man was killed during his commute to work.

The incident began after dawn as Montreal police said they were pursuing a knife-wielding man who was strewing garbage bags around downtown Montreal.

There were conflicting reports from people in the neighbourhood about why the man might have been tossing garbage. Area residents said he was known to collect tin cans for a living.

The suspect being chased, Mario Hamel, was a 40-year-old homeless man who lived in a downtown shelter.

A confrontation ensued. Officers opened fire.

Authorities said Hamel was shot dead on site. The bystander was also struck and was pronounced dead in hospital hours later.

Sgt. Claude Denis said a provincial police probe was in progress.