A masked gunman opened fire during a victory rally for Quebec’s new premier, Pauline Marois, killing one person.
Video from Reuters shows police arresting the suspect, who reportedly entered the back of the auditorium carrying a rifle and wearing a ski mask. He also lit a fire near the back of the building.
The shooting overshadowed the historic victory of Marois, who is the first female premier of Quebec.
According to the AP, she had just told supporters that Quebec would one day be independent when bodyguards whisked her off the stage.
“It was not clear if the gunman was trying to shoot Marois, whose party [Parti Quebecois] favors separation for the French-speaking province from Canada,” the AP reported. Marois’s party supports requiring businesses of greater than 11 employees to use French in all staff communications and would generally expand French-language provisions in the province.
The suspect was heard shouting in French, “The English are waking up!”
In a CBC broadcast, anchors seemed to at first think Marois had simply concluded the speech. Soon after, a spokesman took the stage to reassure the audience, saying “a blank” had been fired and that no one was injured. In actuality, in addition to the person who was killed, another person was injured but is expected to survive.
Anchors: “Wow, not quite sure what happened there. Everything looked fine, but all of the sudden the man in the headphone walked offstage and whisked her off. What we’re concluding is that it was the end of the victory speech. There had been no disruption in the room.
Spokesman: “There was a slight glitch. We were told that somebody lit off with a blank, and listen everything is under control, there was no one injured.”
Marois later returned to the stage and asked the crowd to peacefully disperse.
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