We’re learning more about the French-Canadian university student accused of opening fire inside a Quebec mosque. Police initially arrested two men following Sunday’s shooting, but later said just one – Alexandre Bissonnette – remained a suspect.
Sources told CBS News that Bissonette was not known to U.S. authorities and police have not speculated on a motive. But sources also said they believe Bissonnette is a right-wing extremist. On Facebook, Bissonnette “liked” the political organization, “Generation Nationale,” whose manifesto rejects multiculturalism, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.
Quebec City’s frigid temperatures didn’t stop thousands from paying tribute to the victims of Sunday night’s deadly shooting rampage at a local mosque. And Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined other Canadian leaders showing their support for Quebec’s Muslim community.
More than 50 worshippers were in the mosque when the attack began during evening prayers. Six men between the ages of 39 and 60 were shot and killed. At least 17 people were injured.
“Our hearts are broken and deeply troubled by what has happened to so many innocent people in a place of worship,” said Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
Bissonnette, 27, was a student at Laval University. He appeared in court Monday and was charged with six counts of first-degree murder.
“The charges that have been laid are those that were disclosed by the evidence so far. It’s an ongoing investigation,” said Michel Fortin, the director of public prosecutions of Quebec.
“Make no mistake, this was a terrorist attack,” Prime Minister Trudeau said.
Trudeau has welcomed refugees banned by the U.S. He spoke in parliament to address the more than one million Muslims who live in Canada.
“Thirty-six million hearts are breaking with yours. Know that we value you,” Trudeau said.
One of the victims was 57-year-old store owner Azzeddine Soufiane.
“The sadness is too great because he is a friend,” said Nacer Bouimedagheno. “We didn’t expect to have this in Canada.”
White House Spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters Monday the shooting is a reminder of why President Trump is taking steps to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to U.S. national security. However, police said this was not an attack by Islamic terrorists from overseas, but instead an apparent attack against Muslims by a suspect raised right here in Canada.