NEWS

Only 1 Suspect In Quebec Mosque Shooting: Police

The suspect called 911 then waited for police to arrive.

30/01/2017 20:50 SAST | Updated 30/01/2017 20:57 SAST
REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger
Police arrive at the scene of a fatal shooting at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City on Jan. 29.

One suspect remains in custody in connection with a deadly shooting inside a Quebec City mosque, while a second person is now considered a witness, said Quebec provincial police.

Several media outlets identified two suspects who were arrested following Sunday's attack as Alexandre Bissonnette and Mohamed Khadir. But Sûreté du Québec clarified through Twitter on Monday that one person is now regarded as a witness.

The force did not specify the individuals by name. Both the suspect and the witness are in their late 20s and early 30s, said police.




TVA reported that the suspect who remains in custody is Bissonnette.

The shooting erupted at the Islamic Cultural Centre in the city's Sainte-Foy neighbourhood shortly as Sunday evening prayers were ending. Six people were killed, and eight others were hurt.

After the attack, a suspect called 911 to indicate he wanted to work with authorities, and waited for officers near the mosque, said police in a news conference on Monday.

"He was armed and spoke to us about his acts," said Insp. Denis Turcotte at a press conference. "He seemed to want to co-operate....The suspect said he was waiting for the police to arrive."

quebec mosque shooting
Police attend the scene of a shooting at a Quebec City mosque on Jan. 30. (Photo: Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

The six victims are between the ages of 35 and 60. Another 19 people, all men, were wounded.

Of those injured, five remain in critical condition in hospital. The identities of the victims have not been released.

Both the suspect and the witness are previously unknown to authorities, police said. A motive has yet to be determined.

'Threat is under control'

Mosques in the city are under increased security following the deadly incident.

quebec shooting mosque
People come to show their support after a shooting occurred in a mosque in Quebec city on Jan. 29. (Photo: Alice Chiche/AFP/Getty Images)

"Let us unite against violence," said Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said on Sunday. He swiftly called the deadly shooting a "terrorist attack."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also called the incident a "terrorist attack," saying in statement he reacted to news with "tremendous shock, sadness and anger."

Trudeau reaffirmed the value of diversity and religious tolerance to Canada's identity.

"Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country," he said.

Vigils were planned in Quebec City, Montreal, and Halifax for Monday.

With files from The Canadian Press