Both suspects arrested in connection with the attack carried out on Sunday evening at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec are students at Laval University, to the north-west of Montreal. A source close to the investigation has confirmed this to Radio-Canada.
There were several dozen followers within the Centre, located on Chemin Sainte-Foy, when at least one suspect entered the building around 7.45 p.m., before opening fire upon devotees.
A witness speaking to Canadian radio said, “It was like a science fiction film, there was utter bloodshed.”
The witness stated that the devotees “were about to leave prayers and were stunned by an individual who suddenly came in, apparently with an automatic gun. People did not understand. They panicked. Those who died were those who tried to intervene to arrest the individual.”
Both suspects arrested are residents in Quebec. Radio-Canada added that one of the men was of Moroccan origin.
At least one search linked to these arrests was under way in the period from Sunday night to Monday morning in a block of flats within the Sainte-Foy district, where one of the suspects lived.
Via Twitter, the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel condemned “a cowardly attack” expressing his “thoughts” both for “the victims and their loved ones.” The Mayor of Brussels, Yvan Mayeur, showed the capital’s solidarity with the city of Quebec adding “Hate will never be the victor.”