The daycare worker killed in Friday’s double shooting was poised to return to his native France to share what he learned about childcare, police in Gatineau, Que., say.
Neil Galliou, 38, was identified as the victim of the homicide-suicide that happened at the daycare centre on Rue Gamelin on Friday morning.
Police told reporters Galliou had been in Canada for about a year, hoping to return home to work with children —particularly in the arts.
He was shot and killed in 225 Rue Gamelin by Robert Charron, the spouse of the daycare’s director who police confirmed was the gunman.
They said Charron then went next door to 229 Rue Gamelin, warned daycare workers to get the children out and went to the office. He spread a flammable substance, including on the director, before unsuccessfully trying to start a fire.
Police said the director managed to escape, and shortly afterward Charron’s body was found with a registered shotgun by his side. They said they’re investigating whether the shotgun was used in both shootings, as well as a note that was left at Charron's home.
Gunman worked as a handyman
Police received a 911 call at 10:27 a.m. ET Friday saying a man was threatening people and when they arrived, they found the bodies of two men who had been shot dead.
All 48 children between the ages of 18 months and five years old escaped and were taken care of by neighbours.
Police said Monday that while Charron asked staff to get the children out, they can't rule out that some may have seen what happened. However, police said they won't be interviewing any children as part of their investigation. They haven't had a chance to speak with the director yet, either.
Police said Charron, 49, and the director were in the midst of a separation that began a few days before the shooting. They said they have no evidence a love triangle was the motivation for the shootings.
Charron worked as a handyman around the buildings, so his presence there was "normal," according to police.
Parents and staff at the daycare where the men were shot dead Friday met on Monday for a second day to discuss how to tell children their teacher had died.
"My son played with his toys this morning saying, 'There's a fire but we're safe, we’re safe,'" said Julie Galienne.
The daycare, located in two houses at 225 and 229 Gamelin St., remained closed after members of the parents committee at Les Racines de vie Montessori met Sunday.
Marjolaine Flynn, a University of Ottawa social work student with two children at the school, said the children loved Galliou.
Flynn said she and other parents support the staff and the school director, but they need to meet to ensure they tell all the children the same message.
Charron known for running sugar bush in hometown
Louise Robitaille, a neighbour who helped watch them, said she didn't know whether any of the children witnessed the shootings or saw the man enter the building, though one boy told her the "chasseur" (hunter) didn't find the children.
Parents were asked to wait at a bus while police gathered the children, and by 5:30 p.m., Robitaille said, every parent had picked up their child.
Neighbours of Charron in Denholm, Que., a town north of Gatineau, said the "whole town" is upset.
Charron was known in the community for plowing snow in the winter and running a sugar bush in the spring. He and his wife had three children of their own, according to one neighbour.
Gatineau police said anyone needing psychological help can contact the Centre for Victims of Crime at 819-778-3555 and its 24/7 Help Centre at 819-595-9999.
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