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Suspect ID'ed in Quebec election rally shooting

Suspect ID'ed in Quebec election rally shooting

September 6th, 2012 in News

Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois speaks with a member of her security detail Tuesday after being whisked off the stage by Surete du Quebec police officers as she delivered her victory speech in Montreal, Que. Police were not immediately able to provide details but party organizers informed the crowd that there had been an explosive noise and they needed to clear the auditorium.

MONTREAL (AP) - Police on Wednesday interrogated a man accused of opening fire at a midnight victory rally for Quebec's new separatist premier, but police said the suspect's rambling statements in French and English yielded no immediate motive for the shooting that killed one.

A police official identified the suspect as Richard Henry Bain, 62, from La Conception, Quebec. The police official spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the suspect has not been charged yet.

Quebec provincial police earlier Wednesday said a masked gunman wearing a bathrobe opened fire just outside the building where Pauline Marois of the separatist Parti Quebecois was giving her victory speech.

The gunman was heard shouting "The English are waking up!" in French as police dragged him away.

Marois was whisked off the stage by guards while giving her speech and was not injured.

"I am deeply affected by this but I have to go forward and assume my responsibilities," Marois said Wednesday.

"In spite of this tragedy we must say Quebec is a non-violent society. An act of folly cannot rid us of this reality," she added.

Marois, who at 63 became Quebec's first female premier, called the shooting an isolated event and said it was probably a case of a person who "has serious health issues."

When she first went back stage, Marois said she saw somebody was wounded and there was a fire outside, but she thought everything was under control. Police said the suspect lit a small fire before he was arrested.

It was not clear if the gunman was trying to shoot Marois, whose party favors separation from Canada for the French-speaking province.

Lieut. Guy Lapointe of the Quebec provincial police said earlier the suspect was taken to a hospital during the interrogation, but his life was not in danger.

"We can't establish at this point what the motive or intent was. Was he targeting Madame Marois? I'll tell you a lot of things were said by this individual after they arrested him, in French and English," Lapointe said.

Marois was giving her victory speech to hundreds of supporters at the Metropolis auditorium. She had just declared her firm conviction that Quebec needs to be a sovereign country before she was pulled off the stage.

"What's going on?" Marois told her security detail as they grabbed her arms and dragged her away during the celebration of her party's victory in Tuesday's provincial election.

Police initially said the gunman made it into the building, but now believe he opened fired just outside in the back alley. The gunman then set a small fire before he was captured, police said. Lapointe said he didn't put up any resistance.

Marois returned to the stage after the shooting and asked the crowd to disperse peacefully, and then seemed to finish her speech. She left the hall amid a tight cordon of provincial police bodyguards.