Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, is the sole suspect in Sunday night's shooting
Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, the sole suspect in Sunday night's shooting, was charged yesterday with six counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder with a restricted weapon. Police said he acted alone.
He was not previously known to the authorities, but a Facebook post by the group "Welcome to Refugees – Quebec City" said Bissonnette was "unfortunately known to several activists in Quebec City for his pro-Le Pen and anti-feminist identity positions at Université Laval and on social networks."
The online profile for Bissonnette, who made a brief court appearance yesterday, showed a wide variety of interests.
On his Facebook page, he indicated he liked Le Pen, President Donald Trump, the separatist Parti Quebecois as well as Canada's left-wing New Democratic Party, the Israeli Defence Forces, heavy metal band Megadeth and pop star Katy Perry.
Former classmates have called him a 'xenophope' and a supporter of Le Pen and Donald Trump
"I wrote him off as a xenophobe. I didn't even think of him as totally racist, but he was enthralled by a borderline racist nationalist movement," Vincent Boissoneault, a fellow Laval University student, told the Globe and Mail newspaper.
He would be kind of made fun of, the butt of the jokes
Former classmate Simon de Billy
He said they frequently clashed over Bissonnette's opinions about refugees and support for Le Pen and Trump.
Bissonnette's lawyer, Jean Petit, declined to comment at the courthouse on Monday. Université Laval confirmed yesterday that Bissonnette was a social science student there.
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An ambulance is parked at the scene of a fatal shooting at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City
He was not previously known to the authorities but was known to support far-right causes
Bissonnette was a cerebral "nerdy outcast," said former high school classmate Simon de Billy, adding the suspect and his twin brother were inseparable.
"He was an avid reader, knew a lot about history and about current issues, current politics, those kinds of topics," Mr de Billy said. "He was just a bit of a loner, always with his twin brother, didn't have any friends.
"He wasn't physically strong or imposing, and probably got a bit of a hard time, was probably not taken seriously. … He would be kind of made fun of, the butt of the jokes."