A man charged with shooting dead six Muslims during prayers at a mosque in Canada made a brief court appearance on Monday.
Alexandre Bissonnette, a university student aged 27, is the only suspect for the mass murder that took place during evening prayers at the Islamic Culture Centre of Quebec City on January 29. The tragedy resulted in six deaths and 19 wounded.
Bissonnette faces six charges of first degree murder and five of attempted murder. His court appearance came under heavy security and the next court date was fixed to take place on October 2.
As the proceedings took place Alexandre looked “haggard,” according to the media. People who know Bissonnette described him as “agreeable” with the far right, pro-Donald Trump, and anti-immigration views.
Quebec City is known to be a quiet white-collar community with one of Canada’s lowest rates of violent crime. In 2015, the city reported just two killings.
Government representatives including Québec mayor Régis Labeaume, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard labeled the aggression a “terrorist attack.”
“We are with you,” Couillard said, speaking to the province’s Muslim community. “You are at home. You are Quebecois.” He also assured them of increased police protection for mosques and Islamic centers across the province.