Families of victims from the fatal Quebec Mosque shooting, which took place just over a year ago, may now be able to find some closure.
Alexandre Bissonnette, the man accused of attacking the Quebec City Mosque on January 29, 2017, recently entered a plea of guilty to the Quebec Superior Court.
Bissonnette has been charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder in a shooting on the Centre culturel Islamique de Quebec, which left six people dead and many more injured.
Members of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) were on-site for this week’s trial proceedings in Quebec City. They were in the courtroom on Monday, March 26 when Bissonnette initially pleaded “not guilty,” much to the agony of survivors and families of victims.
Five hours later, Bissonnette changed his plea.
Upon being asked the reason for the sudden change, he told the court that “in [his] heart, [he] made the decision to spare the victims and their families from going through a trial and reliving the tragedy.”
Monday’s proceedings carried over to the morning of Wednesday, March 28, when a psychologist testified that the shooter was in full understanding of the consequences of his guilty plea. Bissonnette then read his statement to the court and explained that “he was ashamed of his actions and asked for forgiveness.”
The executive director of the NCCM, Ihsaan Gardee” shares that “[they] are relieved by [the] guilty plea, as it spares the survivors, the families and the community from a drawn-out trial” which would have only caused more pain and anguish than the horrific attack already did.
All six victims of the shooting were husbands and fathers. On that tragic night, 17 children lost a parent in the shooting.