02/20/2014 09:08 EST | Updated 04/22/2014 05:59 EDT

Trois-Rivières church packed for funeral of triple-homicide victims

More than 1,500 packed the Trois-Rivières Cathedral on Friday to pay their respects to three people found killed last week inside a home.

The victims — two females and one male — were in their teens or early 20s.

The pews were filled with family members and friends, and strangers who never met the victims but were touched by the tragedy also attended — including Senator Pierre-HuguesBoisvenu.

“I went through the same type of grief so I understand what the family is going through. I think solidarity and support from others is essential,” Boisvenu said through tears.

Boisvenu’s daughter, Julie, was murdered in 2002.

Boisvenu said he hopes the victims’ families find strength during this time, in spite of their suffering.

“It’s important they find strength because the months to come will be as painful as the events taking place right now.”

François Doucet, the priest who led the service, said some who were close to the victims shared great memories.

“We laughed in church — it wasn’t just crying. Yes, there was crying, but there were homages. People told beautiful stories, and beautiful reflections about the three youths,” Doucet said.