Gunman Kills One at Canadian Political Rally

Dashiell Bennett
September 5, 2012

One man was killed and another seriously injured after a man opened fire during an election night victory speech by the new premier of Quebec. Premier-elect Pauline Marois was addressing supporters at the Metropolis concert hall in Montreal when a 50-year-old man reportedly entered the back of the room and began firing with what was believed to be a high-powered rifle or assault weapon. The man — who was wearing a blue bathrobe and had partially covered his face — reportedly yelled "the English are waking up" in French as he was being arrested. He also shouted, "There’s going to be f-ng payback. It’s enough. Wanna make trouble."

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Marois was rushed off the stage by security after the shooting broke out, but returned briefly to ask every to leave the building in an orderly fashion. No one else was harmed in the incident.

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Marois is the head of Parti Québécois, the separatist political party that has advocated for Quebec's secession from the rest of Canada. Their victory in the provincial elections last night has raised the possibility of a new referendum on the issue, though there has been little support for full independence since the last vote was defeated in 1995 and PQ still lacks a majority in the legislature. It's still unknown if politics played any role in the shooter's motive.