Suspects arrested after Quebec man killed protecting daughter in Sint Maarten

MONTREAL — Three people have been arrested in Sint Maarten in connection with the fatal shooting of a Quebec man who died protecting his daughter during a robbery, the police department of the Caribbean nation said Friday.

Sylvain Valade, from Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, a town in the Laurentians region north of Montreal, was shot June 5 and died of his injuries in a Florida hospital.

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Sint Maarten police said officers arrested three suspects who they said are co-operating with authorities. "The suspects at this time will remain in custody for questioning and further investigation," the police department said in a statement.

Police say Valade, 48, was shot in the Beacon Hill district of Sint Martin after a brief struggle as he sought to protect his daughter.

"Directly after committing this heinous act the robbers fled the scene in a small white vehicle towards the French side of the island and have been in hiding," the statement read. "This incident shocked the entire community of Sint Maarten."

Sint Maarten is located on the southern part of the island of Saint Martin. The country is part of the Dutch Caribbean while the northern part of the island is an overseas territory of France.

Sint Maarten's tourism minister, Steven Johnson, said he hopes news of the suspects' capture can bring some comfort to the Valade family.

Johnson said the three suspects will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. "Our country mourns with you still today," he said in a statement, "and we will be unrelenting in our pursuit of justice."

Valade's daughter's had paid tribute to her father in an emotional Facebook post last June, saying he died a hero.

"The images are constantly turning in my head, and the sound of the shot haunts me,'' she wrote. "My beloved papa, you left as a hero, you saved my life and you protected me until your last breath, just like you always did."

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