Court begins for witnesses suing police over Quebec’s 2012 election-night shooting

A police officer looks towards a black SUV that has had its contents removed at a crime scene outside the Metropolis in Montreal on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012. Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Four technicians who witnessed Quebec’s fatal 2012 election-night shooting are arguing in court Wednesday that Montreal police and Quebec provincial police failed in their duty to ensure the political event was safe.

The four workers are suing the City of Montreal and Quebec’s attorney general for more than $600,000, alleging they’ve suffered from post-traumatic stress and other psychological damage stemming from the event.

Shooter Richard Henry Bain was convicted in 2016 on one count of second-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder in a shooting outside a Montreal nightclub as then-premier designate Pauline Marois was inside delivering a victory speech on Sept. 4, 2012.

Lighting technician Denis Blanchette was killed in the attack and a second technician, David Courage, was injured after being struck by the same bullet.

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The lawsuit, which was filed in March 2019, says two of the plaintiffs helped carry Courage into the building after the shooting, while another was so close he was struck by Blanchette’s falling body.

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The plaintiffs allege the police failed to properly evaluate the risks associated with the event and that there were no police stationed outside the back door of the downtown venue or at other key areas.

Click to play video: 'Dave Courage remembers Quebec election-night shooting'
Dave Courage remembers Quebec election-night shooting

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