Advertisement
Canada

Quebec City shooting: What we know, what we don’t know

WATCH ABOVE: Three days after a deadly attack, the mosque in Quebec City is handed back to the community. Mike Le Couteur went inside with some of the men who were there that night. A warning, some may find the images disturbing.

It has now been nearly 72 hours since a gunman entered the largest mosque in Quebec City and opened fire, killing six and wounding several others.

The investigation is ongoing, and there are still a number of unanswered questions. But some facts have now been firmly established, albeit after some initial confusion. Here’s what we know, and what we don’t.

What we know

Six men died in the wake of the shooting on Sunday night. They have been identified as Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, Khaled Belkacemi, 60, Aboubaker Thabti, 44, Azzeddine Soufiane, 57, and Ibrahima Barry, 39.

WATCH: Remembering the victims

Mosque terror: Remembering the victims
Mosque terror: Remembering the victims

Nineteen other people were hurt in the attack, but survived. Of those, four remained in hospital as of Tuesday, and two of those remained in critical condition. The two most critically injured patients suffered major abdominal injuries, doctors reported, with three to six bullet wounds each. They have been kept unconscious.

Story continues below advertisement

Police arrested Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, about an hour after the shooting at the side of the road near Ile d’Orleans. Bissonnette himself called police.

Bissonnette is a French-Canadian political science student at Laval University, and has a twin brother. He lived about 15 minutes away from the mosque by car.

WATCH: Quebec City mosque attack suspect faces 6 murder charges

Quebec City mosque attack suspect faces 6 murder charges
Quebec City mosque attack suspect faces 6 murder charges

Bissonnette has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder. He remains in custody.

A second man, identified by police as Mohammed Belkhadir, was mistakenly arrested at the scene of the shooting. He has explained to several media outlets that he was attending prayers at the mosque and trying to help victims when police entered the building. He mistook an officer for the gunman, and ran in fear before he was apprehended by police.

READ MORE: Fox News deletes erroneous tweet on Quebec City shooter’s nationality

Belkhadir was released within a few hours, and police have acknowledged that he had nothing to do with the shooting.

Reporters and worshippers were allowed back into the mosque on Wednesday morning.

WATCH: First-hand look inside Quebec City mosque 

Story continues below advertisement
EXTENDED: First-hand look inside Quebec City mosque where deadly shooting took place
EXTENDED: First-hand look inside Quebec City mosque where deadly shooting took place

Security surrounding mosques in both Quebec City and Montreal was stepped up starting on Sunday night, and the administrations and police forces in both major cities have been in close contact with local Muslim leaders.

The shooting has been designated a terror attack by the prime minister, the public safety minister and the premier of Quebec. But Bissonnette has not been charged with any terror-related offence.

What we don’t know

The motive (or motives) behind the attack remain a mystery.

Bissonnette, the sole suspect, was identified by a local refugee support group as an online “troll” and has reportedly expressed anti-feminist and right-wing views online. But little more is known about his specific political and social views.

READ MORE: Why there’s almost never a second shooter

His Facebook “likes” included pages for U.S. President Donald Trump, far-right French politician Marine Le Pen, the federal NDP, former NDP leader Jack Layton, chess clubs, video games and organizations at Laval University.

We still don’t know if Bissonnette can or will be charged with terrorism. Experts say it’s likely police will require significant evidence surrounding motive before a terror charge can be laid.

Story continues below advertisement