MONTREAL – A master of ceremonies at the Parti Quebecois’ violence-marred victory party says he pleaded with police to tighten security hours before this week’s deadly shooting.
Yves Desgagnes told Radio-Canada that his concerns about lax security were brushed off.
In a television interview, Desgagnes said he had been concerned that anyone could simply walk in without any checkpoint outside the event at Montreal’s Metropolis club.
He said the response from provincial police was that he should “mind his own business.”
Desgagnes described Tuesday’s chaotic scene in an interview with the French-language CBC.
He said that while premier-designate Pauline Marois was delivering her victory speech he walked away from the stage to glance at a nearby TV monitor because he wanted to check on the quality of the image transmission. That’s when he heard gunfire.
He says he then saw a commotion, flames, and a bleeding man dropping to the floor by his feet.
That’s when he says he asked that Marois be removed from the stage. Security guards rushed to whisk her away during her victory speech.
Desgagnes says he was equally worried about Marois’ family, who were standing near the door where the incident occurred.
He says police quickly slammed the door shut. They also apprehended a suspect and a pair of firearms.
Richard Henry Bain faces 16 charges, including first-degree murder. While being taken into custody he shouted, “The English are waking up.”
The bleeding man who fell near Desgagnes was a 27-year-old who survived the attack.
He says the man was attended to by Marois’ press secretary, Marie Barrette. Barrette worked to stop the bleeding from the gunshot wound, he said.
Desgagnes says he then rushed back to the stage to calm down the crowd. He says he announced that the incident had merely been caused by a flash bomb because he didn’t want the crowd to panic.
The attack killed 48-year-old freelance stagehand Denis Blanchette.
Blanchette will have a civic funeral.