The sole suspect of the shooting at a Quebec City mosque on Sunday night that left six dead was described as a “loner,” and a “troll,” by people familiar with the suspect’s Facebook posts, Le Soleil, a Quebec City daily, reports.
The suspect, 27-year-old Alexandre Bisonnette, was apprehended by police on Monday morning.
Law enforcement sources confirmed to NBC on Monday afternoon that Bissonnette is the sole suspect in the shooting, though police initially apprehended two suspects. The second person apprehended by police is now considered a witness, and not a suspect.
Bissonnette studies political science at the University of Laval, a French-language university in Quebec City, according to Le Soleil.
“He was practically in all my classes. He’s a loner,” a Laval student told the newspaper. “He doesn’t really have any friends.”
Francois Deschamps, a member of Bienvenue aux Réfugiés, an organisation that works with refugees and immigrants in Quebec City, told Le Soleil he “jumped” when he saw the photo the newspaper published of Bisonnette on Monday.
Deschamps said that Bissonnette frequently trolled the organisation’s Facebook page, posting comments attacking women’s rights and refugee rights. Deschamps further said that his organisation often watches what the “extreme right” are posting on social media.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the shooting a “terrorist attack” in a statement on Sunday evening.
“Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country,” Trudeau said.
President Donald Trump called Trudeau on Monday to offer condolences and any assistance needed in the aftermath of the shooting.
Sean Spicer, Trump’s press secretary, condemned the attack in a press conference on Monday afternoon.
“We condemn the attack in the strongest possible terms,” Spicer said.
“It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the President is taking steps to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to our nation’s safety and security,”
the press secretary continued, in a nod to the executive order Trump signed on Saturday temporarily banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.
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