The six men killed in a shooting Sunday night inside a Quebec City mosque included a government IT worker, a popular butcher and a professor.
Police and Quebec’s coroner released an official list of the dead Monday evening. All victims were male and between 39 and 60 years old.
Early Monday, the Islamic centre where the shooting unfolded confirmed on its Facebook page that at least some of the victims were fathers.
“Our thoughts are with the children who had to learn their fathers were dead,” a post in French said. “May Allah give them endurance and patience.”
The victims have been identified as:
- Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42 years old;
- Abdelkrim Hassane, 41;
- Khaled Belkacemi, 60;
- Aboubaker Thabti, 44;
- Azzeddine Soufiane, 57;
- Ibrahima Barry, 39.
The coroner’s office will be conducting an autopsy in the coming days to determine the official cause of death.
Two of the victims were Guinean nationals, the government of that country reported Monday.
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“In this painful circumstance, the government of Guinea expresses its deepest sympathy and condolences to the Canadian government, the families of the disappeared, and the entire nation,” said a statement on the government’s website.
“Guinean representatives in Canada are actively engaged in meeting the families of our compatriots and expressing the support of the nation as a whole.”
Azzeddine Soufiane, a father of three who was originally from Morocco, was a grocer owner of a halal butcher shop known as Assalam near the mosque.
The shop was closed on Monday, and flowers had been left outside.
Local imam Karim Elabed described Soufiane in an interview as an important member of the community and a longtime Quebec City resident who often helped guide newcomers to the provincial capital.
“Mr. Soufiane was someone who was well known in Quebec because he opened one of the first community businesses here,” said Elabed.
“Myself, when I arrived here eight years ago, (his shop) was the first place I learned about and pretty much all of Quebec’s Muslims did their groceries there.”
Soufiane was the first person that Ali Ouldache met when he arrived in Quebec City from France in 2007.
“It (his store) was really my refuge and we became friends after that,” Ouldache said.
L’Université Laval identified Khaled Belkacemi, a professor of soil and agri-food engineering at the school, as being among the men killed in the mosque before the list of names was released.
The school issued a statement confirming the news at 3 p.m.
University rector Denis Brière offered “his most sincere condolences” to Belkacemi’s wife (herself a professor at the university), his extended family and his colleagues.
“I am extremely saddened by this horrible news,” said Brière.
“My thoughts are with the spouse and family of Professor Belkacemi; A colleague who will be greatly missed.”
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Belkacemi studied both in Algeria and in Canada, eventually earning his PhD at Sherbrooke University.
Another father of three, Hassane was initially identified by friend Ali Hamadi. Hamadi said he left the mosque a few minutes before the shooting and that Hassane was killed.
Hamadi said Hassane worked in information technology for the government and that he was a father with three daughters and a wife. Media reports say he was Algerian.
Friends say Aboubaker Thabti lived five minutes from the mosque.
Thabti worked in a pharmacy and had two young children, believed to be around the ages of three and 10 years old.
Mamadou Tanou and Ibrahima Barry
Mamadou Tanou Barry, a father of two, was a technician at Lucas Meyer Cosmetics, while Ibrahima worked at Quebec’s health insurance board.
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The two were neighbours in the same apartment building, a friend told The Globe and Mail.
The two were originally from Guinea, Souleymane Toubou Bah, a Quebec City resident who went to school with Mamadou’s wife’s mother in the village of Timbi-Touny, told Global News in French.
The two were neighbours in a building on La Pérade street in Sainte-Foy, and both had attended a memorial service for the father of a member of the city’s Guinean community just hours before the shooting took place at the Centre islamique culturelle de Quebec, Bah said.
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Mamadou’s mother had also recently arrived in the city, and was in Quebec City when the shooting happened, he added.
The pair were not related, Souleymane Bah, president of l’Association des Guinéens de Québec, told Global News in French on Monday night.
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Tanou leaves behind two children, a three-year-old boy and a girl who is one and a half years old. Ibrahima leaves behind four children: two girls, aged 13 and seven, and two boys, aged three and two.
He also leaves behind who has been in poor health for at least a month, the president said.
Bah described the men as well-integrated members of their community who lived for four things: “work, home, family, and the mosque.”
Both had moved to Canada from the same region of Guinea by way of Europe. Tanou came to Canada from England, while Ibrahima came from France and still had a French passport.
Ibrahima had passed the Canadian citizenship test and was set to take the oath, but it wasn’t organized by the time of the shooting.
– With files from The Canadian Press