Police cars block the Quai Saint-Andre sweet where they arrested a man in medieval disguise, early Sunday, November 1, 2020 in Quebec City. Two people are dead and five people were injured after they were stabbed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Police cars block the Quai Saint-Andre sweet where they arrested a man in medieval disguise, early Sunday, November 1, 2020 in Quebec City. Two people are dead and five people were injured after they were stabbed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

VIDEO: Police name two victims killed in night of horror in Quebec City

Police Chief Robert Pigeon says attack involved man dressed in a medieval costume swinging a sword

A man and a woman from Quebec City were killed during a deadly sword attack in the heart of their home town, city police said on Sunday, as tributes poured in for the victims of the Halloween night rampage.

Quebec City police said 56-year-old Francois Duchesne and 61-year-old Suzanne Clermont died in the attack, which began around 10:30 p.m. Saturday in the Old Quebec area.

Both victims were residents of Quebec City, police said.

Five people were also injured in the attack, which authorities said was carried out by a man dressed in “medieval” garb who brandished a katana-like sword and aimed to harm as many people as possible.

Police chief Robert Pigeon said earlier that the suspect who swung the sword at randomly chosen victims during an attack that went on for nearly 2.5 hours.

“Last night we were thrust into a night of horror when a 24-year-old man who does not live in Quebec City came here with the clear intention of taking as many victims as possible,” Pigeon said during a Sunday morning news conference.

Police pursued the suspect, whose name has not yet been released, on foot and arrested him shortly before 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, Pigeon added.

The suspect, who Pigeon said hailed from the north shore of Montreal, was expected to appear in court later in the day.

Pigeon said the alleged attacker has no known links to terrorist groups and that police believe his motivations appear to be personal in nature.

Pigeon said the suspect has no criminal record, but that “in a medical context” five years ago, he had shared his intention to commit this type of act. He said the investigation is ongoing.

The five people who were injured in the attack were also residents of Quebec City, Pigeon said. He said some of those injured suffered lacerations he described as serious, but said no one is in life-threatening condition.

The bustling sector of Old Quebec where the rampage unfolded was quiet Sunday, with large portions blocked off as part of the massive police probe. The police chief noted the investigation involved around 25 different crime scenes.

Some residents out for their morning stroll said they heard the sirens and could see flashing police lights on Saturday night.

Stanislas Thomassin, who lives just 300 metres from where one of the attacks took place, said a friend noted alerts on social media on Saturday night but they didn’t make much of it.

“This morning, I got a note from a friend in France in a panic about me, that’s when I realized the horror of what had happened,” Thomassin said. “It’s normally very calm, very peaceful in Old Quebec.”

Surveying the police-taped streets in and around the historic neighbourhood, Michel Proulx, another local, was at a loss.

“Definitely out of the ordinary,” said Proulx as he walked his dog on Sunday. “I saw the flashing lights, but had no idea it could be this.”

Condolences poured in from across Canada for the victims and their families, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying in a tweet that his “heart breaks” for them.

Federal Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole and Jagmeet Singh, leader of the New Democratic Party, also offered their condolences, while Quebec Premier Francois Legault said the entire province had woken up after a “night of horror.”

“I don’t have the words to describe such a tragedy,” Legault said in an early-morning tweet.

Francois Paradis, president of the Quebec legislature and a National Assembly member representing Levis, Que., near Quebec City, said Sunday that the flag outside the legislature would immediately be lowered to half-mast.

Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume said the attack has shaken the city, which is still recovering from a deadly shooting at a local mosque in 2017.

“We’re going through a tough situation,” Labeaume said during hte morning police briefing.

Quebec Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault echoed the sentiment, describing herself as “devastated” after the attack.

“We went from a happy Halloween day with our kids, with our neighbours, to a tragedy,” she said during the news conference.

“We love to think (of) Quebec City as a safe place, as a quiet place, as a happy place — and it is. But we unfortunately face sometimes that kind of tragedy.”

–With files from Jillian Kestler-D’Amours in Montreal.

Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

HalloweenQuebec

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

James Hutchison was sentenced in court for a robbery from April 2019. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Accused sentenced for early morning robbery in Courtenay

Hutchison gets credit for 218 days in custody but given 120 more days in jail

Tidal Café owners Blythe and Kurt Reimer (left) and Toscano’s head chef and general manager Tristan Taylor have been sharing deck space to help both businesses during the expanded COVID public health order restrictions that ban indoor dining. Photo by Terry Farrell
Neighbouring Comox restaurants share patios for mutual benefit during COVID restrictions

Two restaurants in Comox are working together to help ease the burden… Continue reading

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
A little girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

John Ludlow is making leis for sale for $20 each, with all proceeds to be donated to the Comox Valley Transition Society. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Celebrating kindness, joy and helping others on Lei Day

Ludlow is making leis for sale with proceeds to be donated to the Comox Valley Transition Society

Cumberland is finalizing its tax rate bylaw for the year, which will see a 4.93 per cent increase. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland moving ahead on 4.93 tax hike

Residential rates’ hike was less than projected during planning stages

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
Second-degree murder conviction stands for Abbotsford school killer

Judge finds that Gabriel Klein is criminally responsible for death of Letisha Reimer

LUSH Valley is seeking help from local governments to help restart its Good Food Box program for vulnerable citizens. File photo
Courtenay to determine contribution to Good Food Box program

The City of Courtenay is in the process of determining an appropriate… Continue reading

FILE – RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by as protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion block rail lines, in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, November 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Very scary’: B.C. travel rules too vague, shouldn’t involve police, civil liberties group says

BCCLA said that speaking with communities could have avoided top-down approach

A man accused of choking a 15-year-old in his tent in Beacon Hill Park Tuesday night has been arrested by Victoria police. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man accused of choking, sexually exploiting 15-year-old in Victoria tent arrested

Police arrested the 38-year-old in Beacon Hill Park Wednesday afternoon

Ocean Legacy Foundation members conduct a shoreline pollution cleanup in Vancouver. (OLP)
It’s time to end ‘suffocating’ plastic pollution along B.C. shorelines, advocates urge

This Earth Day, Ocean Legacy Foundation is launching a free educational platform to educate the public about plastic pollution

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Barney Williams says he’s been committed to ensuring no other member of the roster had a similar experience

Most Read