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Cops Nab Suspect in Japanese-Sword Killing

Carl Girouard, 24, faces first-degree murder charges
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 1, 2020 5:00 PM CST

(Newser) – A man dressed in medieval clothing and armed with a Japanese sword was arrested Sunday on suspicion of killing two people and wounding five others on Halloween near the historic Château Frontenac hotel in Quebec City, the AP reports. The attack on randomly chosen victims went on for nearly 2 1/2 hours while police pursued the man armed with a katana throughout the city’s downtown core on foot, Quebec Police Chief Robert Pigeon said. Quebec's prosecutor's office said Carl Girouard, 24, faces two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder. Girouard appeared before a judge via video-conference Sunday and the next hearing in the case is expected to be on Thursday. Police said their initial information indicated the suspect's motive was personal and not terrorism.

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"Last night we were thrust into a night of horror when a 24-year-old man who does not live in Quebec City came here with the clear intention of taking as many victims as possible," Pigeon said. Pigeon said the suspect, who was from the Montreal area, had no criminal record, but that "in a medical context" over five years ago, he had shared his intention to commit this type of act. He said the investigation continued. Police were first notified of the stabbings near the National Assembly shortly before 10:30pm Saturday, and warned people to remain indoors as they hunted for the attacker. The two people killed were identified as 56-year-old Francois Duchesne and 61-year-old Suzanne Clermont. The five injured victims were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

(Read more attack stories.)

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