Quebec lawmakers held a moment of silence today to mark the 35th anniversary of an attack at the provincial legislature that left three dead and 13 injured.
On May 8, 1984, Canadian Armed Forces Cpl. Denis Lortie entered the national assembly armed.
Lortie said he wanted to kill then-premier Rene Levesque and other Parti Québécois members, but the legislature was not sitting that morning, avoiding what could have been a massacre.
Three people were killed — legislature messengers Camille Lepage and Georges Boyer as well as Roger Lefrançois, an employee of Quebec’s chief electoral officer.
Lortie, who was wearing military fatigues, eventually sat down in the Speaker’s chair.
That’s when René Jalbert, the sergeant-at-arms and a former soldier himself, entered the chamber and persuaded Lortie to let others pinned down in the chamber leave. He had Lortie follow him to his office and eventually got him to surrender.
Lortie underwent two trials, pleading guilty to second-degree murder in 1987, and was granted parole in 1995.
Jalbert received the Cross of Valour in November 1984, Canada’s highest decoration for bravery. He died in 1996.