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Quebec City stabbing suspect wanted to hurt as many victims as possible: police

QUEBEC — The suspect behind a deadly sword attack in Quebec City intended to harm as many people as possible, police said on Sunday hours after the deadly rampage that killed two people and injured five others. 

Quebec City Police Chief Robert Pigeon shared some details of the harrowing Halloween night attack at a morning news conference. 

Pigeon alleged a man dressed in a medieval costume began swinging a Japanese-style sword at randomly chosen victims before 10:30 p.m. on Saturday. The attack went on for nearly 2.5 hours, he said, while police pursued him throughout the city’s downtown core on foot. 

The suspect was arrested shortly before 1:00 a.m. on Sunday and is expected to appear in court later in the day, he added. 

“Last night we were thrust into a night of horror when a 24-year-old man who does not live in Quebec City came here with the clear intention of taking as many victims as possible,” Pigeon said. 

The police chief said the suspect is from the north shore of Montreal, but offered no additional details about his identity.

He said the alleged attacker has no known links to terrorist groups and that police believe his motivations appear to be personal in nature.

Information on the victims was similarly scarce. 

Pigeon did not release the names of any of those killed or wounded in the attack, saying only they were residents of Quebec City. He said some of those injured suffered lacerations he described as serious, but said no one is in life-threatening condition. 

Condolences poured in on Sunday morning for the victims and their families, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying in a tweet that his “heart breaks” for them.

Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole also said he and his wife were saddened to hear about the events and offered their condolences to the victims and those who were injured, as well as their families.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault extended his condolences to the victims’ families, saying in an early-morning tweet that the entire province had woken up after a “night of horror.”

“I don’t have the words to describe such a tragedy,” Legault said.

During the news conference on Sunday morning, Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume said the attack has shaken the city, which is still recovering from a deadly shooting at a local mosque in 2017. 

“We’re going through a tough situation,” Labeaume said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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