Police say Richard Henry Bain from Mont Tremblant is the supected gunman who left a 48-year-old man dead and another man critically wounded outside a Parti Québécois election victory party last night.
Police have also confirmed both victims were shot outside the Metropolis theatre in downtown Montreal just before midnight Tuesday. They said one of the victims, with the help of police, was dragged inside the building and the door was closed. That's when the suspect tried to burn the door down, said police.
Eyewitness Martin Bouffard was videotaping the celebration for the Radio-Canada and heading to the back of the building when he heard a loud bang while he was trying to film the PQ leader's exit.
"It sounded like fireworks. Every time we did the student protest, we heard fireworks. It was exactly the same thing. I saw some policemen with their guns in their hands rushing to the back."
Bouffard said he saw the suspect lying on the ground on his back, along with two or three policemen. He said there were two guns by his side.
Officers are also looking into the possibility that a PQ member received threatening messages prior to the shooting.
The suspect, wearing a blue robe and with his face partially covered by a balaclava, was arrested outside the venue and a rifle was seized. Police confirmed Wednesday morning that two guns had been confiscated after the incident.
Suspect in custody after fatal shooting at PQ victory partyA 62-year-old man is in custody after a fatal shooting during Quebec Premier-elect Pauline Marois' acceptance speech. Montreal police say the suspect had more than one gun and allegedly started a fire as he left the hall.
Police would not reveal the identities of the two victims as their families had not yet been notified.
The man shouted in French at TV cameras while being dragged toward the cruiser, "The English are waking up!" Police would only say that he spoke with an accent.
Early Wednesday morning, the Parti Québécois released a statement from Marois, who said her thoughts are with the family and loved ones of the man who died and that all Quebecers are mourning today, after this gratuitous act of violence.
Marois said our society cannot let violence dictate our collective choices and it's through a democratic voice that we must express them.
The suspect allegedly entered the venue from the back as Marois was giving a jubilant address calling for unity among Quebecers. The back door was about six metres from the stage.
"I would be lying to you to confirm 100 per cent that there was no danger to her or the people inside, but the shot was fired at the back of the building," Cmdr. Ian Lafrenière of the Montreal police told reporters outside the scene.
"For us, this is considered a homicide scene," Lafrenière said. It's the city's 22nd homicide of the year.
Quebec Liberal leader Jean Charest, who is coming off his provincial election loss as a four-term premier, said he was saddened by the incident. He spoke to reporters from his former Sherbrooke riding Wednesday morning.
"It's a shock. Who would've thought something like this would happen? Especially on election night. Our thoughts are with the victims and the family, and we'll find out more today about what happened," he said.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he was "angered and saddened" by the incident, in a statement released Wednesday.
“It is a tragic day where an exercise of democracy is met with an act of violence," he said.
“This atrocious act will not be tolerated and such violence has no place in Canada. Canadians can rest assured that the perpetrator of last night’s events will face the full force of the law,” said Harper.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, in St. John's for an NDP caucus meeting, called for a moment of silence for the shooting victims. He said he is in a state of shock after what happened.
The gunman allegedly set a fire at the rear door of the building before he was detained. Police said four or five families living in the area were evacuated from their homes due to the fire, which they said was started with an incendiary device.
(With files from the CBC)