Rampage by Lone Gunman Leaves 15 Dead, Wounds 12 at University
MONTREAL (AP) _ A young rifleman invaded the University of Montreal engineering school on Wednesday and singled out females for his targets, killing 14 women and wounding 12 people before committing suicide, police said.
Montreal Police Director Claude St. Laurent said the killer, clad in a hunting outfit, rushed into a packed classroom at one point during his murderouls rampage and yelled in French, ″You’re all a bunch of feminists 3/8″
A police officer who arrived on the scene found that his daughter was among the dead in what may be the worst mass shooting in Canadian history.
Police did not identify the gunman, who was described as being in his 20s and used what looked like a .22 caliber rifle as he moved up the first three floors of the building, systematically singling out women and shooting them.
The gunman’s first name was Marc - no other name was released at a late- night news conference by police - and a three-page letter, expressing his hatred for feminists, was found in his possession.
The handwritten letter blamed unspecified failures in the gunman’s life on unidentified women and said he was going to kill some women in revenge, said Jacques Duscheneau, a Montreal police senior investigator.
The man began the rampage in a first-floor cafeteria, where he killed three women, St. Laurent said.
The gunman then went up to the second floor and walked into a packed classroom, ordering the men into one corner of the room and the women into another, police said.
He told the men to leave. They did so, and police said the gunman screamed before opening fire on the women: ″You’re all a bunch of feminists.″
Six slain women were later found in the classroom. On the same floor, he killed a woman in an administration office.
Then he climbed to the third floor, where he shot four more women in the corridor. ″It was a human hunt and we were the quarry,″ said one witness.
He continued up to the fourth and fifth floors, shooting and wounding both men and women.
Then, police say, he returned to the third floor and turned the gun on himself.
St. Laurent at one point told reporters police were looking for two accomplices but said later he was mistaken and the man acted alone.
″I saw the bodies of the people who were slain - they were all women,″ said Louis Courville, director of the engineering school, his voice shaking.
One student said a bullet passed his leg and he brought his hands up in a pleading gesture. The gunman left him alone.
″He was clearly gunning for the women,″ the student said.
″All I know is that a crazy guy came in here and began shooting at anything that moved,″ said Dominique Berube, 22, one of scores of terrified students who ran from the building.
″It’s our friends who have been killed.″
She said some people threw themselves on the floor while others stood paralyzed.
The injured, several in critical condition, were taken to four hospitals.
Frenzied parents rushed to the university and were told to gather at a central location.
″I saw death close up and I shook,″ said student Vanthona Ouy, 22.
Witnesses told police the gunman entered the classroom at about 5:20 p.m. EST.
Students said the man emerged from the classroom, fired three or four shots at a group of people and ran up a flight of stairs.
Student Francois Bordeleau said he had to drag people by the collar to keep them from going in the man’s direction.
He said he heard 20 to 30 shots and the man appeared to be aiming mainly at women.
″I heard the gunman say: ’I want the women,‴ said Bordeleau.
Several other witnesses confirmed that the gunman said that.
Student Eric Chavarie said the gunman ″told us to stop everything. And then when we looked at him we thought it was a joke, but he fired a shot in the air and separated us into two groups, the guys in one corner and the girls in (another) corner.
″When that was done he asked the guys to leave, he left the girls in there. We got outside in the hallway and for a couple of minutes he stayed in there and after when he got out he leveled his gun at a group of people who were there and he shot three or four shots.
″I saw some people fall.″
Lucien Justin, who was in the computer room, said the assailant first aimed at the wall there and then ran out.
″Somebody locked the door but he shot off the lock and then left a second time,″ he said.
″I was terribly afraid, I ran like hell.″
″Who could have thought that something like this could happen in a peaceful student world,″ said Ba Madou, 35, an engineering student.
″People thought it was a joke,″ said Stephane Meunier, an engineering student. ″People were in a state of shock.″
At the Montreal General Hospital, Doug Lemm, assistant director of security, said staff were at a Christmas party in the cafeteria when victims began to arrive.
He said the timing could not have been more fortunate.
″The party was scheduled from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and there was no booze. We called all the doctors and nurses to the operating room.″