French-Canadian student Alexandre Bissonnette who allegedly shot and killed six people at a mosque in Quebec City had reportedly rented an apartment close to the place of worship, his neighbours have claimed.
Speaking on condition of anonymity one of them said that the attacker had moved into an apartment near the mosque in July 2016 and used to drive a Mitsubishi truck.
Another neighbour in the same building – who had never interacted with the attacker – said that Bissonnette could be heard frequently playing the piano.
According to reports, police said that the 27-year-old acted alone, but did not provide any details of the weapon he used and refused to discuss the motive behind the attack. However, local reports suggest that that the he had used two guns, which included a 9mm handgun.
Bissonnette was charged with six counts of premeditated murder and five counts of attempted murder with a restricted weapon on Monday (30 January). He reportedly said on Facebook that he was a fan of US President Donald Trump and far-right French politician Marine Le Pen. Friends and acquaintances also told local media that he expressed anti-immigration views especially towards Muslim refugees.
Law enforcement and Intelligence agencies in the US believe that Bissonnette supported far right-wing nationalist ideologies.
Police crime data gathered by Statistics Canada has revealed that in 2014, Quebec province witnessed the second highest rate of crime triggered by religious prejudice. Between 2012 and 2014, crimes due to prejudice against Muslims more than doubled in the country.