Civic funeral for techie killed at Parti Quebecois rally

Lighting technician Denis Blanchette was shot dead at the Parti Quebecois victory rally Tuesday,...

Lighting technician Denis Blanchette was shot dead at the Parti Quebecois victory rally Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. (ERIC SIROIS/MON TOPO/TVA)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:34 PM ET

MONTREAL -- Quebec will pay for a civic funeral for lighting technician Denis Blanchette, shot and killed outside a Parti Quebecois rally on Tuesday.

Eyewitnesses say Blanchette and colleague Dave Courage prevented the gunman from entering the Metropolis nightclub, where PQ Leader Pauline Marois was wrapping up her victory speech after winning a minority government.

Blanchette died from his wounds. Courage was also hit by a bullet but survived.

Diane Blanchette, the dead man's sister, told QMI Agency that the premier-elect called the family home to say that the technician was a hero.

"She sent her sympathies, and she said that our brother probably saved her life and those of other people at the same time," the sister said Friday. "Then she offered to my mother to hold a civic funeral for my brother. My mother said she would accept (the offer) under the circumstances because my brother deserves this."

Blanchette, who leaves behind a four-year-old daughter, was standing outside the club with Courage when a masked gunman dressed in black walked up to the building, opened fire and then lit puddles of gasoline with a flare.

Marois was hustled off the stage as the smell of smoke filled nightclub and a fire raged outside.

The premier-elect insisted on returning to the podium to call for calm, and the 1,000 supporters fled the building safely.

Police arrested 61-year-old businessman Richard Henry Bain, who faces 16 charges including first-degree murder.


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