QUEBEC — Quebec police say a deadly Halloween night attack that killed two people and injured five others does not appear to be linked to terrorism.
Quebec City Police Chief Robert Pigeon said on Sunday morning the attack involved a man dressed in a medieval costume swinging a sword at what he described as random victims, who was later arrested by police.
He says the rampage began shortly before 10:30 on Saturday night and ended when the suspect was arrested shortly before 1:00 a.m.
Pigeon says the 24-year-old suspect lives in Montreal’s North Shore region, but offered no other details, including his name.
He says the suspect came prepared to harm as many victims as possible, but that his motivations appeared to be personal in nature.
“Currently, nothing indicates us that the crimes were committed on behalf of hate, or religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other motivation”, said Mr. Pigeon, who was surrounded by vice-premier Geneviève Guilbault, mayor of Quebec Régis Labeaume, and federal minister Jean-Yves Duclos.
He says some of the five people injured in the attack suffered serious stab wounds, but their lives are not in danger.
Earlier Sunday morning, spokesman Etienne Doyon also declined to offer any information about the two people who were killed, saying only that “Our thoughts are with the family of the people who died today.”
Doyon said he could not immediately confirm if the suspect was known to police, or whether more than one person may have been involved in the attack.
“Nothing is impossible,” he said.“But for now, we’re happy to have arrested a suspect and the investigation is ongoing.”
Police had earlier warned residents to remain indoors as they hunted for a man dressed in medieval clothing and armed with a sword who they said had left “multiple victims.”
Carlos Godoy, who lives in the area, said police K-9 units had searched his backyard as they hunted for the suspect.
“It was really erratic, very abnormal for the neighbourhood,” he said.
“It’s a full moon, it’s October 31st. It’s Halloween, and it’s a lockdown weekend. No one should be out on the streets,” Godoy said. “And I’m in an extremely quiet neighbourhood because there are no tourists nowadays.”
Police had asked area residents to remain indoors as they continued their investigation.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and leader of the Conservative Party Erin O’Toole both expressed their sympathies Sunday morning.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2020.
With files from HuffPost Canada