Neigh­bours say Que­bec shoot­ing sus­pect was quiet, liked guns

Neigh­bours on a sleepy sub­ur­ban street where the man charged in the Que­bec City mosque shoot­ing was raised say as a kid he played base­ball, swam in back­yard pools and ex­plored the nearby for­est like many lo­cal boys.

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE -

Neigh­bours on a sleepy sub­ur­ban street where the man charged in the Que­bec City mosque shoot­ing was raised say as a kid he played base­ball, swam in back­yard pools and ex­plored the nearby for­est like many lo­cal boys.

One man who has lived across from Alexan­dre Bis­son­nette’s fam­ily home for about three decades also said the 27-year-old sus­pect had a pas­sion for guns as far back as ado­les­cence.

Re­jean Bussieres, whose son is about the same age, re­called how Bis­son­nette used to shoot pel­let guns at trees in the woods be­hind his house as a young­ster.

“Alexan­dre re­ally liked guns,” said Bussieres, who added that his son told him Bis­son­nette had a gun when he was about 12 years old.

“He showed one to my son and my son didn’t like that.”

Bis­son­nette, now 27 years old, faces mur­der and at­tempted mur­der charges in the Sun­day night mas­sacre that left six dead and 19 wounded.

Po­lice say a gun­man stormed a mosque in Que­bec City’s Ste-Foy dis­trict and opened fire on men who were at­tend­ing prayer.

Bis­son­nette briefly ap­peared in court on Mon­day and his next sched­uled ap­pear­ance is Feb. 21. None of the al­le­ga­tions against him has been proven in court.

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau has de­nounced the at­tack as a ter­ror­ist act.

While the story made head­lines around the globe and prompted nu­mer­ous vig­ils on dif­fer­ent con­ti­nents, Bis­son­nette’s child­hood home, where his par­ents still live, was quiet Tues­day.

A car was parked in front of the tidy, two-storey house in Cap-Rouge and the snow had been care­fully cleared away from the drive­way, front walk and back pa­tio. No one an­swered in the door and it was un­clear if any­one was home.

A small bou­quet of red flow­ers had been left by the side en­trance to the house with an en­ve­lope ad­dressed to Mr. and Mrs. Bis­son­nette.

Bussieres says Bis­son­nette and his twin brother would swim in his pool in the sum­mer.

“He was soli­tary,” he said of Bis­son­nette.

An­other neigh­bour, whose son is also about the same age as Bis­son­nette, de­scribed him as a quiet yet pleas­ant young man, who was a lit­tle more low-key than his brother.

Ni­cole, who would only pro­vide her first name, said his par­ents are very kind peo­ple.

She used to help out with coach­ing their base­ball team when her son and the Bis­son­nette brothers were small.

“He was a su­per quiet lit­tle guy,” Ni­cole said of Alexan­dre Bis­son­nette, whom she saw from a dis­tance about a week ago while she was talk­ing to his fa­ther on the street.

“I spent the whole day yes­ter­day on the verge of cry­ing. I said how could this be. Ev­ery­one is say­ing a killer, a ter­ror­ist.

“No way, it’s Alexan­dre — it’s our lit­tle neigh­bour.”

Bis­son­nette was study­ing po­lit­i­cal sci­ence at Laval Univer­sity.

He was also be­longed to chess clubs and had been an army cadet in the Que­bec City area be­tween 2002 and 2004.

Bis­son­nette also de­vel­oped a rep­u­ta­tion for mak­ing hate­ful on­line com­ments such as tak­ing anti-fem­i­nist po­si­tions, ac­cord­ing to Fran­cois Deschamps, who runs a French-lan­guage web group called Bien­v­enue au refu­gies — Wel­come Refugees.

CP PHOTO

Alexan­dre Bis­son­nette, a 27-year-old univer­sity stu­dent, has been charged with six counts of first-de­gree mur­der and five of at­tempted mur­der in the shoot­ing.

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