MONTREAL - One person is dead after shots were fired at the Montreal theatre where premier-elect Pauline Marois was giving a victory speech in a bizarre outburst of election night violence.
Montreal Police say a man in his 50s has been arrested after approaching the back of Metropolis and opening fire.
Witnesses said the suspect also threw what appeared to be a molotov cocktail in a nearby dumpster, igniting it briefly before the flames were doused. Some media reports said that the man yelled “the anglos are waking up" in French.
But an eyewitness, a stage technician waiting outside the theatre, told The Gazette the suspect said nothing before he was tackled by police.
Urgences Santé told The Gazette two people were taken to hospital.
“All I can confirm is that two people were transported to hospital. One is in critical condition, and the other is being treated for shock,” said a spokesperson for Urgences Santé shortly before 1 a.m. “Both of them are men.”
Minutes later, Montreal police confirmed via Twitter that a third person, who apparently was never transported to hospital, had been killed.
The Globe and Mail reported the dead man was the driver of the PQ campaign bus, who happened to be outside the theatre when gunfire broke out.
A witness told The Gazette the second victim was a stage technician waiting outside to dismantle the set where Marois was speaking.
A section of Ste. Catherine St. in front of the Metropolis was been closed as a security perimeter was erected around the scene.
Television footage also showed police leading away a suspect dressed in a blue bathrobe and black balaclava being led away and put in a squad car.
There were also images of people lying on the ground and police examining what appeared to be a rifle.
Marois, Quebec’s premier-elect was rushed by her bodyguards from the stage Tuesday night after her Parti Québécois won the Quebec election with a minority government.
Marois returned to the microphone shortly after she was escorted away said an “unfortunate incident” had occurred. She asked supporters to leave the theatre and appealed for calm, saying: “That is what a woman head of government does.”
The incident put a damper on what was a noisy, happy celebration of Marois’s victory.
Sylvain Giguere, a PQ supporter, said after Marois was yanked offstage, “the room went deadly quiet.”
Marois herself is safe and sound after the eruption of violence.
The other party leaders, including outgoing premier Jean Charest and Coalition Avenir Québec leader Francois Legault denounced the tragic turn of events.