(AP) MONTREAL - The suspect's gun in a deadly shooting at a rally following the election of a separatist premier jammed after the initial shots were fired, a Quebec police official said Thursday, possibly saving lives.
Richard Henry Bain, 62, from La Conception, Quebec, was scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning after being accused of opening fire at a midnight victory rally Tuesday for Quebec's new separatist premier, killing one man and wounding another. A police official identified the suspect to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he has not been charged yet.
The official said Thursday that Bain's gun jammed after the first shots were fired.
Meanwhile, neighbors and acquaintances of the man said he was a friendly but often frustrated businessman who had overseen several failed ventures, but never had any public outbursts, leaving them to wonder how he could become the rambling masked man shown on television.
People who know Bain, the owner of a hunting and fishing resort 90 miles north of Montreal, recalled his complaints about bureaucracy but could think of no political grievances he held. Quebec provincial police said the masked gunman wearing a bathrobe opened fire just outside the building where Pauline Marois of the separatist Parti Quebecois was giving her victory speech just before midnight Tuesday.
The gunman was shown on television ranting and shouting "The English are waking up!" in French as police dragged him away.
The mayor of La Conception, Maurice Plouffe, said he was "very surprised" to hear Bain was tied to the shooting and said the images of the suspect being dragged away by police "were not easy to watch." Plouffe said Bain was sometimes frustrated in his dealings with the city after seeing a number of zoning requests were rebuffed, but added "I have never seen him become aggressive, he was quite normal."
A man full of ideas and proposals, Bain, however, seemed unlucky in his business ventures, with a number of unsuccessful projects.
"He had many projects but not many of them materialized," Plouffe said.
Marc-Andre Cyr, the owner of a campground near Bain's lodge, also said he was friendly and never showed any anger toward French-speaking Quebecers.
Cyr said they occasionally had a beer together. They always spoke French.
"He's someone I would meet from time to time," he said. "We never talked politics."
A list of members of the Mont Tremblant Chamber of Commerce describes Richard Bain as the owner of Les ActivitDes Rick, which promotes itself as a major fly-fishing destination.