Quebec City mosque shooting: Bissonnette rented apartment close to mosque
- Alexandre Bissonnette rented an apartment near the mosque
- Alexandre Bissonnette worked for Hema-Quebec up until his arrest
Two people remain in critical condition in a Quebec City hospital following the horrific attack on a mosque Sunday during evening prayers that left six men dead and 19 others injured.
Speaking with reporters Tuesday morning, hospital officials said two people remain in critical condition with abdominal injuries. As of late Monday, five people were still in hospital.
WATCH: Doctor expects two mosque shooting victims in critical condition to recover
Officials said Tuesday one victim was released from l’Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus and another two individuals were still recovering in stable condition. Each victim suffered from three to six bullet wounds, a hospital official said. Doctors expect the two victims in critical condition will recover from their injuries.
WATCH: University of Laval professor saddened by loss of colleague during Quebec City mosque shooting
University student Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, was charged Monday with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder in connection to the shooting in what officials called an act of terror.
Bissonnette rented an apartment near the hospital, leading to rented an apartment nearby, neighbors said on Tuesday, a sign he may have been targeting the house of worship.
Rejean Bussieres, whose son is about the same age, remembered how the Bissonnette boy used to shoot his pellet gun at trees in the woods behind his house as a youngster.
“Alexandre really liked guns,” said Bussieres, who added that his son told him Bissonnette had a gun when he was about 12 years old.
Until his arrest, Bissonnette had been working in the call centre for Hema-Quebec, which manages the blood supply in the province. Hema-Quebec spokesman Laurent-Paul Menard said Tuesday that Bissonnette’s job was to set up and confirm appointments with regular blood donors.
WATCH: Alleged gunman Alexandre Bissonnette arrived at a Quebec City courthouse Monday evening for the Quebec City mosque shooting that killed six people and critically injured two others.
The attack on the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec happened around 8 p.m. ET when Bissonnette allegedly walked into the mosque and opened fire during evening prayers.
The victims were identified as Mamadou Tanou Barry, Abdelkrim Hassane, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti, Azzeddine Soufiane and Ibrahima Barry.
Vigils were held in many cities across the country Monday night for the victims of the attack and to show solidarity with Canada’s Muslim population.
On Tuesday, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard thanked those who attended vigils across the country in “solidarity” and “for inclusion in our society” while urging Quebecers to work together and to continue expressing solidarity with the Muslim community.
Couillard said the province has its “demons” but rejected suggestions that the deadly shooting was an indication Quebec failed in its attempt to be an open society.
“Xenophobia, racism and exclusion are present here,” Couillard told a news conference. “We have to acknowledge that and work together.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended a vigil in Quebec City where he spoke of the “unspeakable cruelty and violence” that was carried out Sunday evening.
“We stand with you. We love you and we support you and we will always defend and protect your right to gather together and pray today and every day,” the prime minister said. “Our responsibility to those who have died and were injured and our responsibility to you, citizens of Quebec and members of the Muslim community all across Canada, endures.”
Trudeau addressed the House of Commons in Ottawa Monday, where he reiterated the attack on the mosque was an act of terrorism.
“This was a group of innocents targeted for practicing their faith,” Trudeau said. “Make no mistake, this was a terrorist attack.”
Investigators have yet to shed light on what possibly motivated Sunday’s massacre. The alleged shooter made a brief court appearance on Monday and is scheduled to appear again late next month.
–with a file from Global News reporter Andrew Russell and The Canadian Press
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