Police have confirmed that there is now one suspect in the Quebec City Mosque shooting. The shooter is Alexandre Bisonette, a 27 year old native of Quebec City suburb, Cap-Rouge and Laval University social sciences student.
Bisonette was charged with six counts of first degree murder for the killings of Mamadou Tanou Barry, Abdelkrim Hassane, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti, Azzeddine Soufiane and Ibrahima Barry. Bisonette is also charged with five counts of attempted murder.
The second accomplice called 911 after the shooting, indicating that he wanted to co-operate in the investigation. He was later arrested five kilometers from the mosque after initially fleeing the scene.
Bisonette is “unfortunately known to several activists in Quebec City for his pro-Le Pen and anti-feminist positions at Laval University and on social networks,” wrote the Bienvenue aux réfugiées – Ville de Québec Facebook group.
According to his facebook page, Bisonette is a Trump supporter and follows several far right political groups including that of Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader of France’s National Front.
The President of the Islamic Cultural Center of Quebec is left in tears in the wake of the massacre. Those whose lives came to a tragic end as an outcome of Bisonette’s nationalist views include fathers, professors and business owners:
Abdelkrim Hassane was a father of three young daughters and worked in information technology for the government. He had left the mosque a few minutes before the shooting began but encountered the shooter on the way out. He died on the scene.
Khaled Belkacemi was a Laval University professor in the food science department. The university is grieving the loss of their own.
“Our university community is in mourning today,” rector Denis Briere said in a statement. “We mourn the death of an esteemed member of the faculty and the university, a devoted and beloved man of his colleagues and students.”
Azzeddine Soufiane was a 57-year-old father of three and owner of Epicerie-Boucherie Assalam. He is described by local Imam Karim Elabed as an important member of the community, a kind man who has helped guide newcomers to the provincial capital.
Mamadou Tanou Barry, aged 42 and Ibrahima Barry aged 39 were Guinean nationals, the government of that country reported Monday.
“In this painful circumstance, the government of Guinea expresses its deepest sympathy and condolences to the Canadian government, the families of the disappeared, and the entire nation,” said a statement on the government’s website.
“Guinean representatives in Canada are actively engaged in meeting the families of our compatriots and expressing the support of the nation as a whole.”
Aboubaker Thabti, 44 emigrated from Tunisia in October 2011, according to a friend who visited the mosque Monday. “He took care of his family all the time, 100 per cent, so he (had) no time for himself,” the friend added. Thabti left behind a three-year-old daughter and a son, Mohamed, who said his father was a “very, very good guy” who “helped everybody.”
Said El-Amari is 38 year old father of four, he was among those severly injured in the attack and remains in critical condition at l’hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus.
Candlelight vigils and multifaith prayers are being held tonight across the country in memory of the victims. Prime Minister Trudeau and his wife Sophie attended a vigil in Quebec city and parliament held a moment of silence for the victims.