A man armed with a sword arrested after the “night of horror” of Halloween that left two dead in Quebec

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QUEBEC CITY – A man dressed in medieval clothes and armed with a Japanese sword was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of killing two people and injuring five others on Halloween near the historic Chateau Frontenac hotel in Quebec City.

The attack on randomly selected victims lasted nearly two and a half hours as police pursued the man armed with a katana on foot in the city’s downtown area, the Quebec police chief said. , Robert Pigeon.

The Quebec City prosecutor’s office said 24-year-old Carl Girouard faces two counts of first degree murder and five counts of attempted murder. Girouard appeared before a judge by videoconference on Sunday and the next hearing in the case is expected to take place on Thursday

Police said their initial information indicated the suspect’s motive was personal and not terrorist.

“Last night we were plunged 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 killing as many people as possible,” said Pigeon.

Pigeon clarified that the suspect, originally from the Montreal region, had no criminal record, but that “in a medical context” more than five years ago, he had shared his intention to commit this type of act. . He said the investigation has continued.

Police were first notified of the stabbing near the National Assembly shortly before 10:30 p.m. Saturday, and warned people to stay inside while they searched for the assailant.

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The two people killed were identified as François Duchesne, 56, and Suzanne Clermont, 61.

The five injured were taken to hospital. “Some have very large lacerations but we are not afraid for their lives,” said Pigeon.

Steve Jolicoeur, a freelance photographer, said the deceased man had his throat cut. Jolicoeur said another person was cut in the shoulder while another was cut in the head and hand.

He said he witnessed the arrest of the suspect, who threw his sword in the air.

“He seemed confused,” Jolicoeur said. “He was dressed in black, like a ninja. “

The police searched his car and his residence. He was due to appear in video court later Sunday

The mayor of Quebec, Régis Labeaume, said Canada must have a debate on how to deal with mental illness. He said the attack rocked the city, which is still recovering from a 2017 mosque shooting that left six people dead.

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“Quebec is waking up after a night of horror. Words fail me to describe such a tragedy. I offer my condolences to the families of the victims, ”tweeted the Premier of Quebec, François Legault.

Carlos Godoy, who lives in the area, said K-9 police units searched his backyard as they searched for the suspect.

“It’s a full moon, it’s October 31st. It’s Halloween, and it’s a weekend of containment. No one should go out on the streets, ”Godoy said. “And I am in an extremely quiet area because there are no tourists these days.

The area around Chateau Frontenac, the imposing landmark of the old walled town, is usually bustling with tourists in normal times.

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Associated Press writer Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.

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