Shooting mars Quebec separatist's victory

Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois

MONTREAL — A suspect was in custody after a shooting left one person dead in a Montreal theatre late yesterday, where the leader of Quebec’s separatist Parti Quebecois was celebrating a narrow election win in the Canadian province.

The shooting overshadowed the result of the election in which the Parti Quebecois beat the ruling Liberals, but by a small margin, forcing them to settle for a minority government. That effectively ruled out that the party, which seeks an independent Quebec, will be able to push for another referendum on breaking away from Canada.

Pauline Marois, newly elected as the first female premier of Quebec, had just told a rally of supporters the province would one day be independent when her bodyguards rushed her from the stage. She later returned to finish her speech.

The incident was shocking for Canada, where murder levels are around a third of those in the United States and political violence is extremely rare.

Montreal police said a man around 50 years old had entered the back of the Metropolis theatre just before midnight with a rifle and a handgun and shot two people.

Died on the spot

Police said a man in his 40s died on the spot. The second victim, who was taken to a hospital is no longer in danger, according to local media reports. Another person is reportedly hospitalised, suffering from shock following the incident.

“For us this is a homicide,” a spokesman for the Montreal police said at a press conference today, adding that the suspect’s motives were unknown at this time.

Television footage showed police subduing a large man with a rifle who was dressed in a black cape and a black face mask. (Reuters)

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