Canadian law enforcement now say only one person was involved in Sunday’s deadly Quebec mosque shooting. Police originally told Canadian media two men were initially suspected in the attack, one of Moroccan origin, but later backtracked and said only one man is a suspect now.
According to the latest reports at least six praying Muslims were killed inside the mosque and 8 injured by a shooter identified as Alexandre Bissonette, a student at Laval University, a law enforcement source told Reuters.
Police initially named Mohamed el Khadir as a second suspect, The Associated Press reported, but police withdrew that statement Monday afternoon and said Khadir was actually a witness.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared the incident a terrorist attack one day after he tweeted his welcome to refugees into Canada. One witness heard the shooter yell “Allahu Akbar” as the attacker shot at those inside.
“We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims in a centre of worship and refuge. On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of all those who have died, and we wish a speedy recovery to those who have been injured,” Trudeau said in a statement prior to the identities of the suspect and witness being released.
“While authorities are still investigating and details continue to be confirmed, it is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence. Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear,” he said. “Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country.”
Trudeau made the statement Saturday, one day after the Trump administration issued an executive order prohibiting the admission of individuals coming from seven different foreign countries, which have majority Muslim populations and are breeding grounds for terrorist activity, into the U.S.
To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 28, 2017
*This story has been updated