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

File photo
Alberta’s central zone has 670 active cases

301 new cases identified Sunday

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Annual spending on debt interest is closing in on $3 billion

Alberta reported an additional 399 cases of COVID-19 Thursday, on 9,217 tests, for a test positivity rate of 4.3 per cent. (Image courtesy CDC)
Red Deer down to 562 active COVID-19 cases

8 new COVID-19 deaths, 399 additional COVID-19 cases

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

People line up outside a vaccine clinic as seniors wait to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton Alta, on Friday February 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Health Services head sorry for glitches in vaccine booking system for seniors

AHS president said technical issues have been fixed and a virtual waiting room is in place

Vandalism is shown on Alberta NDP MLA Janis Irwin’s constituency office in Edmonton in this handout photo on Saturday, February 27, 2021. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney quickly condemned vandalism at an Opposition legislature member Janis Irwin’s Edmonton office after the MLA posted pictures showing her front window spray-painted with the words “Antifa Liar.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Janis Irwin *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

Edmonton MLA Janis Irwin posted pictures showing the front window spray-painted with the words ‘Antifa Liar’

A helicopter flies past a mountain near McBride, B.C., on Saturday January 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Avalanche warning for backcountry users in North and South Rockies

Avalanche Canada is urging backcountry users to always check their regional avalanche forecasts

Supporters pray outside court in Stony Plain, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, as a trial date was set for Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church. He is charged with holding Sunday services in violation of Alberta’s COVID-19 rules and with breaking conditions of his bail release. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Trial date for jailed Alberta pastor charged with breaking COVID-19 health orders

The court says it will reconvene with lawyers on March 5 for a case management plan by teleconference

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Emily Keeping of Wetaskiwin, Alta., was last seen at 4:20 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin. Supplied/ Wetaskiwin RCMP.
UPDATE: Wetaskiwin RCMP seek assistance in locating missing 11-year-old

Emily Keeping was last seen on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin.

Sylvan Lake's Winter Village lured many visitors to the town this winter. The town has launched a new contest to attract a new business.
(Black Press file photo)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

Most Read