By Savannah Smith  |  01-31-2017   News
Photo credit: Premier Of Alberta / Flickr

The lone suspect in yesterday's gruesome shooting at a Quebec City mosque that left six people dead was formally charged by the Canadian police on Monday evening with six counts of first-degree murder.

The suspect was 27-year old French Canadian Alexander Bissonette, a student of political science and anthropology at Laval University located near the mosque where the fatal shooting took place. Bissonette was also charged with five counts of attempted murder.

Bissonette briefly appeared in a Quebec City court earlier today over the Sunday evening massacre but did not enter a plea. The suspect wore a white prison-issued jump suit, his hands and feet shackled.

The suspect called the police to express his intention to cooperate with the authorities' investigation into the incident. He was arrested in his car on a bridge leading from Quebec City to Ile d' Orleans.

More than fifty people were at the mosque for their Sunday evening prayers when the shooting erupted at the place's male section. Aside from the six killed from the shooting, nineteen male Muslims were wounded. Five of the wounded remain in the hospital, two of them in critical condition.

Another person, Mohamed el Khadir, was earlier erroneously reported by media as a second suspect but the authorities clarified that he is actually a witness to the shooting.

Canada continues to grieve over the gruesome shooting, with various vigils being held across the country to commemorate those killed and injured.

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau minced no words and described the incident as a "terrorist attack". He also told his country's one-million strong Muslims that the rest of the Canadians are with them. Trudeau said thirty-six million hearts are breaking with the Muslims, and that they should know that they are valued.

President Trump has expressed his deep condolences to Trudeau and the Canadian people and also extended an offer to provide any assistance that they might need.

White House spokesperson Sean Spicer meanwhile pointed to the Quebec attack as further justification for Trump's executive order temporarily banning entry to the U.S. of immigrants and refugees from terrorist states while a strong vetting system is being worked out by the government. Spicer said the Trump administration condemns the attack in the strongest terms possible but that it also serves as a terrible reminder of the need for the U.S. to be vigilant. Spicer said that President Trump is taking steps to be pro-active rather than reactive on matters that concern the nation's safety and security.

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