A 24-year-old man from Sainte-Thérèse, QC, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder after attacking seven people with a sword while dressed in medieval garb on Halloween night.
According to Le Service de police de la Ville de Québec (SPVQ), the accused has been identified as Carl Girouard. He appeared before a judge on Sunday afternoon and is expected back in court on November 5.
The SPVQ released a statement on Sunday, confirming the coroner identified the two victims as 56-year-old François Duchesne and 61-year-old Suzanna Clermont.
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Quebec City police chief Robert Pigeon said during a news conference on Sunday morning that Girouard drove to the capital with the intention of “doing the most damage possible.”
Pigeon believes the crimes were premeditated and thinks Girouard’s victims were chosen at random.
SUIVI DES ÉVÈNEMENTS | L’identité des victimes a été confirmée par le bureau du coroner. Il s’agit de monsieur François Duchesne, âgé 56 ans, ainsi que de madame Suzanne Clermont, âgée de 61 ans. https://t.co/DkIkb1E5Ja
— Service de police de la Ville de Québec (@SPVQ_police) November 1, 2020
According to Pigeon, the 24-year-old was carrying a Japanese katana-style sword and does not have a criminal record but had revealed his desire to commit a violent act in a “medical context” back in 2015.
The SPVQ has no reason to believe the attacks were motivated by any religious or political reasons.
On Sunday morning, Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume referenced the January 2017 mosque shooting that left six people dead and called the events both “terrifying” and “impossible to understand.”