Quebec City mosque shooting kills six people

January 30, 2017 2:12 pm

Six people were killed and and 19 others wounded at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec in Quebec City’s Ste-Foy neighbourhood.


Quebec police now say only one of the two people arrested after Sunday’s deadly terror attack on a mosque in Quebec City is a suspect, with the second man considered a witness.


Police say in a tweet that the second person is considered a witness, but they did not name him.


Police said earlier they had arrested two suspects.


They were identified as Alexandre Bissonnette and Mohamed El Khadir.


During a morning press conference, authorities said one person was arrested at the scene. A second man called 911, not long after the mosque shooting took place, indicating he was armed and wanted to work with police.


Quebec City police Insp. Denis Turcotte said the man waited for officers to arrest him, east of Quebec City.


“He was armed and spoke to us about his acts,” said Turcotte. “He seemed to want to co-operate….The suspect said he was waiting for the police to arrive.”


The shooting took place just before 8 p.m. Sunday, as many had gathered at the mosque for evening prayers.


The six people killed in the attack were between the ages of 35 and 60. Officials have not identified the victims.

“It’s a very, very big tragedy for us,” said Mohamed Labidi, the vice-president of the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec, the mosque where the attack happened Sunday night. “We have a sadness we cannot express.”


He said the victims were shot in the back, recalling through tears the horror of the attack.


“Security at our mosque was our major, major concern,” he said. “But we were caught off guard.”


A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise $35,000 to pay for their funeral expenses.


Within 10 hours, it raised more than $15,000.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard have called the shooting a “terrorist attack.”


Speaking in the House of Commons Monday afternoon, Justin Trudeau denounced the “act of brutal violence.”


“This was a group of innocents, targeted for practicing their faith,” he said. “Make no mistake: this was a terrorist attack. It was an attack on our most intrinsic and cherished values as Canadians, values of openness, diversity and freedom of religion. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims.


“These people were brothers, uncles, fathers and friends, these were people of faith and community and in the blink of an eye they were robbed of their lives in an act of brutal violence.”


The mosque targeted in the attack issued a statement of thanks on its Facebook page late Sunday for the many messages of compassion being sent its way.


It has been the subject of threats in the past. Last June, a gift-wrapped pig’s head was placed at the entrance to the building.


The incident took place during Ramadan, a month-long celebration during which Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset. Muslim dietary laws forbid eating pork at any time.


Three weeks later, an Islamophobic letter titled “What is the most serious: a pig’s head or a genocide” was distributed in the vicinity.


Vigils are expected to be held in Montreal, Quebec City and Halifax today.


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Source: National Post