Quebec City sword attack victim records video from hospital in which he forgives suspect

Click to play video: 'Musician injured in Quebec City sword attack speaks out from hospital'
Musician injured in Quebec City sword attack speaks out from hospital
WATCH: One of the victims of the Halloween sword attack in Quebec City is speaking out. In a personal video posted to social media, the Quebec City musician recounts the horror he faced that night, his injuries and his thoughts about the alleged attacker. A warning to viewers that some images and descriptions can be considered disturbing. Global’s Phil Carpenter reports. – Nov 19, 2020

A professional musician who survived the deadly Halloween night sword attack in Quebec City says he forgives his aggressor, despite being left with devastating injuries that threaten his ability to make a living.

Rémy Bélanger de Beauport described his ordeal in a 45-minute video recorded from his hospital bed and uploaded to Facebook Wednesday.

Bélanger de Beauport, a freelance professional cellist, said he was walking near the Chateau Frontenac in Old Quebec City on Oct. 31 when he was approached by a man with long hair and a cape who was carrying a sword.

At first, Bélanger de Beauport assumed the man intended to play a Halloween joke on him, he recounted. “He lifted his sword in the air, I never thought he would hit me with it, I thought he was pretending,” he said in the video. “And he brought it right down on my head.”

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READ MORE: Sword attack in Quebec City didn’t require a mass public alert, police say

Two people died and several were injured in the attack, including Bélanger de Beauport. Twenty-four-year-old Carl Girouard is facing two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder.

Bélanger de Beauport recalled shouting for help in English and French as his assailant continued to deliver blows. He said that at one point during the attack, he looked at the ground and saw his own severed index finger lying next to him. The musician said he picked it up and closed his fingers around it, promising himself not to drop it.

The attack over, a bloodied Bélanger de Beauport said he crawled into a fountain. He was later able to drag himself to the Chateau Frontenac, where employees saw him and called for help.

The cello player remains in hospital, suffering from injuries that include multiple fractures to his skull, to both shoulder and one arm, as well as damage to his throat. Bélanger de Beauport’s thumb was partially amputated, two other fingers were nearly sliced through, and his right index finger had to be reattached — devastating injuries for a professional cello player.

But despite the trauma, Bélanger de Beauport said he bears no ill will toward his attacker. “I was in the ambulance on Oct 31 and I’d already forgiven him,” he said. Belanger de Beauport said he believes the suspect likely suffered from mental health challenges and was only a “shell” of his true self.

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Click to play video: 'Quebec to invest millions into improving mental health services after deadly massacre'
Quebec to invest millions into improving mental health services after deadly massacre

“I think if he let me live, or abandoned me or was distracted by other people, maybe it’s because at one time, I yelled loud enough for help, that I touched the little part of him that remained inside that shell of a body, of violence, and maybe that’s why he left me,” he said in the video.

Bélanger de Beauport said he has no desire to see his assailant punished. Instead, he’s hoping for a process of what he calls “transformative justice” that would see his attacker get the mental health care he needs. He said he’d also like to meet his attacker one day to learn more about him.

Following the attack, Bélanger de Beauport was sent to a Montreal hospital where he underwent several surgeries, including the one to reattach his finger. Now back in Quebec City, he’s slowly recovering from his injuries and is vowing to continue his career as an improv cello musician, at whatever level he is able to play.

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“Regardless of the state of my hand, the state of my body, I’m still a musician,” he said.

READ MORE: Vigil held for Quebec City victim of Halloween sword attack

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