10 years ago: a shooter enters the Metropolis during Marois’ victory speech

MONTREAL — This Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the Metropolis attack, where a gunman entered on the evening of September 4, 2012 with the aim of killing Prime Minister-elect Pauline Marois and “as many separatists as possible”.

Richard Henry Bain ultimately failed to reach Ms. Marois, but he killed a stage technician, Denis Blanchette, in addition to injuring another.

The moment is historic for Quebec: for the very first time, a woman has just been elected Premier.

It was therefore in front of a packed Metropolis that Ms. Marois appeared before her Parti Québécois supporters for her victory speech, shortly before midnight that evening.

While at the podium, the new Prime Minister is interrupted by two bodyguards who quickly escort her off stage.

While confusion reigns in the room, the situation evolves at full speed behind the scenes. With a single bullet, Richard Henry Bain kills Denis Blanchette and seriously injures David Courage, another technician.

The shooter is however slowed down in his progress when his weapon jams after the first shot. He therefore decides to start a fire and try to escape.

In the end, he will not get very far, since the police quickly arrest him. In a scene filmed by a Radio-Canada camera, he shouts: “The English are waking up.”

Once the – relative – calm has been restored, Ms. Marois goes back on stage to finish her speech and asks people to leave the room in downtown Montreal in peace.

Richard Henry Bain was eventually convicted in 2016 of one count of second-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder for the shooting outside the Metropolis.

In particular, he confessed to his psychiatrist that he wanted to set the theater on fire and kill “as many separatists as possible”.

Ms. Marois led a minority Parti Québécois government from 2012 to 2014.


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