Swordsman in medieval clothing kills two in Quebec rampage

Montreal (AFP) –


A swordsman dressed in medieval clothing killed two people and wounded five others in a Halloween rampage in Quebec City, Canadian police said early Sunday after arresting the suspect.

The attacks occurred late Saturday in multiple locations in the Old Quebec neighborhood, near the tourist hotspot Chateau Frontenac and the National Assembly, the Quebec provincial parliament, according to police.

The suspect, "a man in his mid-20s," was armed with a sword and dressed in "medieval clothing," Quebec City police spokesman Etienne Doyon said during a press briefing.

"According to our initial information, nothing indicates to us that the suspect acted for anything other than personal motivation," police said in a tweet.

According to three witnesses quoted by Quebec newspaper Le Soleil, the attacker allegedly "slit the throat" of his first victim near the Chateau Frontenac hotel and there was "a lot of blood."

The man then continued on Rue des Remparts, where the second person was killed, before heading to the Old Port, wounding the other victims, according to the newspaper.

Quebec resident Karin Lacoste said she was going to a convenience store to do some shopping around 11 pm when she saw several armed police officers wearing bulletproof vests.

"There was one who told me 'run to your home because there is someone walking around, he is a killer and he has killed people,'" she told LCN news channel. "I was really scared."

- Manhunt -

The suspect was arrested early Sunday after a manhunt through the streets of Old Quebec, police spokesman Doyon said.

Police received a report about the attacks at around 10:30 pm and sent several officers to the scene, including dog handlers, Doyon said.

The suspect was arrested shortly before 1:00 am near the Old Port, he added.

He was then "checked" and "transported to hospital for evaluation."

The suspect has been formally identified but police have not released his identity or said if he is known to them.

"It's a man who was dressed medieval. It's a man who carried a sword with him. It's stab wounds -- that's all we can tell you at the moment," Doyon said.

The five survivors wounded in the rampage had suffered injuries of varying severity, he said. Police have not released any details on the identities or ages of the victims.

The suspect was lying on the ground, barefoot and hypothermic, when he was arrested, Le Soleil reported.

He was wearing a black mask and surrendered to police, according to the newspaper, which said he had been planning his attack for a year and a half.

Police asked city residents to stay inside with the doors locked while their investigation was underway, with several neighborhoods cordoned off with a heavy police presence.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the streets of Old Quebec were quiet at the time of the attacks, freelance journalist Jordan Proust told AFP.

"Most of the kids who were celebrating Halloween did so in the afternoon," he said.