(MONTREAL) — Violence marred an election victory party for Quebec’s newly elected premier late Tuesday night, after a masked gunman opened fire at a campaign rally in Montreal.
TV cameras captured a chaotic scene as a security team abruptly surrounded Pauline Marois as she delivered a victory speech before a crowd of supporters, and escorted her off stage. A few minutes later, Marois returned and asked the crowd to evacuate the building.
Montreal police arrested a 50-year-old man at the scene, wearing what appeared to be a long, blue housecoat and a makeshift balaclava. Police told ABC News that the suspect tried to set a small fire near the campaign’s headquarters before he tried to flee.
Police confirmed at least one person in critical condition, and one death resulting from the shooting. Details were not released regarding the shooting victims’ identities or the suspected shooter’s possible motive.
Political tension has been on the rise in Canada as the independence-minded Parti Quebecois has grown stronger in the largely French-speaking province. Marois, who is also the party’s leader, will be Quebec’s first female premier.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Andreas Preuss, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN