TORONTO – The sole suspect in a shooting at a Quebec City mosque that left six people dead has been charged with the premeditated murder of six people.
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According to the court documents available, the suspect is a 27-years-old French-Canadian university student identified as Alexandre Bissonnette.
He has been charged with six murder counts and five counts of attempted murder with a restricted weapon.
Bissonnette made a brief appearance in court under tight security wearing a white prison garment. No charge was read in court and Bissonnette did not enter a plea.
Prosecutors said all of the evidence was not yet ready and Bissonnette, a student at Université Laval would appear again on Feb. 21.
When asked as to why Bissonnette was not charged with terrorism-related offences, Thomas Jacques, a representative of the prosecutor’s office said:
‘The charges laid correspond to the evidence available’
According to police and Canadian media, Among the six men killed were a butcher, a university professor, a pharmacist and an accountant.
The government of Guinea claimed in a statement that two of its citizens were among those killed in the Quebec mosque attack.
On the other hand, police declined to discuss possible motives behind the horrific shooting at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec.
“They consider this a lone wolf situation,” a Canadian source familiar with the situation said.
Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who is welcoming refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, told parliament in a categoric statement: “Make no mistake, this was a terrorist attack.”
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 31, 2017
“Last night this community experienced something that no community should ever have to know, unspeakable cruelty and violence perpetrated on those who came together in friendship and in faith,” Trudeau said later at a vigil attended by hundreds amid frosty weather.
‘We stand with you. We love you and we support you and we will always defend and protect your right to gather together and pray today and every day,’ Trudeau added.
On the other hand, U.S. President Donald Trump called Trudeau to express his condolences “and offered to provide any assistance as needed,” said Trudeau spokesman Cameron Ahmad.
On Monday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told newsmen that the Quebec shooting was ‘a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant, and why the president was taking steps to be proactive, rather than reactive, when it comes to our nation’s safety and security.’