Quebec election shooting suspect faces 16 charges

Richard Henry Bain is accused of opening fire outside the midnight victory rally on Tuesday for Pauline Marois of the Parti Quebecois.

Updated: Sep 07, 2012, 10:55 AM IST

Montreal: The suspect in a deadly shooting at a rally following the election of Quebec`s new separatist premier was arraigned on Thursday on 16 charges, including murder, attempted murder and possession of explosives.

Richard Henry Bain, 61, of La Conception, Quebec, made his first appearance in court behind protective glass after being accused of opening fire outside the midnight victory rally on Tuesday for Pauline Marois of the Parti Quebecois.

Prosecutors said that after the shooting, Bain used a flare to light a small fire.
The heavyset Bain, wearing a white T-shirt, appeared calm and alert during his appearance in the highly secured courtroom. He spoke briefly with his court-appointed lawyer but did not address the court, and there was no plea. Bain is scheduled to return to court on October 11.

The shooting killed Denis Blanchette, 48, and wounded a 27-year-old just outside a Montreal theatre. The suspect`s gun jammed after the initial shots were fired, a Quebec police official said on Thursday, possibly saving lives.

Prosecutor Elaine Perreault said outside the courtroom that Bain had two weapons on him and three more in his car nearby. She said the weapon used in the shooting was a legally registered long gun.

Weapons charges include negligent storage of weapons and ammunition. The weapons he had in his possession include a 9mm Luger, a Beretta, a Ceska Zbrojovka carbine, a semi-automatic 22LR and 357 mag. Revolver.

Bain, who owns a hunting and fishing lodge, had many more guns at home including shotguns, almost all of which were registered, Perreault said.

When asked if Bain targeted the premier, Perreault said only that there might be additional charges. She said authorities were continuing to investigate the motive.

Bain was in a "proper state of mind" to appear in court after spending some time in a hospital, she said.

Elferide Duclercville, Bain`s court-appointed lawyer, said she had not been able to meet her client before court and was rushing after the hearing to continue their brief discussion of a few seconds while he was in the box.

Meanwhile, neighbours and acquaintances of Bain said he was a friendly but often frustrated businessman who had overseen several failed ventures but never had any public outbursts, leaving them to wonder how he could be charged with such crimes.