September 8, 2012
PQ election night venue not secure: police source
By QMI Agency
MONTREAL – The downtown Montreal venue that was the scene of violence on Quebec election night was not properly secured, a police source told QMI Agency.
Provincial police never asked the Montreal police to secure the entrances to the Metropolis, a source said. The source's information was confirmed by police who worked on Tuesday night near the venue.
It was outside, towards the back of the building, that a lone gunman lit a fire and shot and killed one Metropolis employee and wounded another.
Police arrested Richard Henry Bain, a 61-year-old old fishing lodge owner, at the scene, and the Crown charged him with 16 counts, including murder.
Parti Quebecois leader and Quebec premier-designate Pauline Marois was delivering her victory speech Tuesday night when Bain allegedly opened fire. She was whisked off the stage by her security detail, only to return a few minutes later to finish her speech.
Several police sources told QMI Agency that the Metropolis, which is located in a residential area, is difficult to secure, and therefore a poor choice for a political rally. Sources said the PQ should have been warned against holding its election night headquarters there.
The provincial police, however, said the premier-elect was never in danger.
Guy Lapointe, a lieutenant with the criminal investigations unit of the provincial police, said his force's security perimeter on Tuesday night "was never compromised." Bain never entered the building, he said.
QMI Agency learned the suspect only managed to shoot once. One bullet killed Denis Blanchette, a lighting technician. It was the same bullet that struck the other employee. Police said Bain lit a fire outside the venue after he opened fire.
Lapointe said the incident was quickly controlled by police.
"From the moment that the suspect arrived, to the time that he was subdued and the fire was controlled, 90 seconds elapsed," Lapointe said.
"The threat was outside the building. The fire was extremely minor. It was the outside door that caught fire and everything was controlled quickly."
While Lapointe said the fire was small, video footage of Tuesday night shows flames several feet high, burning the side entrance of the Metropolis.
Provincial police said they will investigate their response to Tuesday's violence. The Montreal police will participate in the investigation.