A year ago, Alexandre Bissonnette wasn’t interested in politics. The gunman, who killed six people at a Quebec mosque on Sunday night, seems to have started becoming radicalized as recently as last March.
According to several of his classmates at the University of Laval, the 27 year-old student’s first racist and xenophobic posts on social media coincided with the visit of the Front National candidate, Marine Le Pen, to Canada.
The young man, who confessed his crime only 17 minutes after the shooting and turned himself into the police, was charged on Monday afternoon (Quebec time) with six counts of premeditated murder and five counts of attempted murder, with the latter corresponding to five of the eight people injured and currently hospitalized in critical condition.
Mohamed Belkhadir, a Canadian of Moroccan origin, was also detained on Sunday night. Since then, the Quebec Provincial Police has announced that he is no longer being considered as a suspect, but was instead a witness to the shooting.
In memory of the victims of the attack in Quebec City, the lights of Eiffel Tower were turned off at midnight (French time) on Monday. Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, also condemned the shooting as a “dreadful act,” and addressed “a message of fraternity to all Quebecers and Canadians.”
🇨🇦 HOMMAGE : 00 h 00, la tour Eiffel a été plongée dans le noir pour rendre hommage aux victimes de l’attentat de Québec pic.twitter.com/tRnj45JWqB
— Infos Françaises (@InfosFrancaises) 30 janvier 2017