April 13, 2018 2:15 pm
Updated: April 13, 2018 10:25 pm

Gunman says he went to Quebec mosque in 2017 to protect people from terrorists

FULL INTERROGATION: 'I wanted to save people': Quebec City mosque shooter says he wanted to protect family from terrorists. WARNING: Video contains disturbing content. Viewer discretion is advised.

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The gunman who killed six men as they prayed in Quebec City in 2017 told investigators he went to the mosque because he wanted to protect his family from terrorist attacks, according to a video of his interrogation tabled in court Friday.

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READ MORE: ‘I’m going to shoot myself in the head,’ Quebec mosque shooter tells 911 dispatcher

In the video recorded the day after the shooting, Alexandre Bissonnette told police he didn’t do anything wrong.

He said he wasn’t a monster or a terrorist, adding he went to the mosque to save lives.

WATCH: Alexandre Bissonnette, who killed six men as they prayed at a mosque in Quebec City in 2017, told investigators he wanted to protect his family from terrorist attacks. Global’s Raquel Fletcher reports.

Instead of shooting himself “alone in the woods,” Bissonnette said, thanks to his actions, “maybe 100 people will now be saved.”

“Maybe 200 or 300 people,” he said later on in the video.

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The recording was tabled into evidence by the Crown during Bissonnette’s sentencing hearing.

Bissonnette pleaded guilty last month to six charges of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder in the shooting.

READ MORE: Crown shows photo evidence in Quebec City mosque shooting sentencing hearing

In the video, Bissonnette spoke to provincial police investigator Steve Girard about numerous terrorist attacks in Europe as well as the 2014 shooting in Ottawa outside Parliament.

He said he wanted to do something about the attacks and that he was convinced his family was at risk of being killed.

Girard asked him if he felt ashamed of his actions.

“It’s not bad at all what I did,” he responded.

Later in the video, however, he contradicted himself and said he did feel shame.

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Bissonnette, 28, said he “lost control” on Jan. 29, 2017, the day he shot the six men, because he found out Canada was preparing to welcome more refugees.

He also told the officer he had anxiety and wanted to commit suicide when he was 16.

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Bissonnette said he had been feeling awful for “months and months and months.”

“And I just didn’t know what to do.”

He changed medication at the beginning of January 2017, he said, and started taking an anti-depressant called Paxil.

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Bissonnette can receive consecutive sentences, which would mean up to 150 years in prison, but his legal team is hoping he receives concurrent sentences, which would see him eligible to apply for parole after 25 years.

The sentencing arguments are expected to last three weeks.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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