Police in Quebec City say two people are dead and five others were been injured in a stabbing rampage in the provincial capital on Hallowe’en night.
They say a man in his mid-20s has been arrested in connection with the armed attacks and taken to hospital for evaluation. The man was dressed in medieval clothing and had a sword with him when he was arrested just before 1 a.m. Sunday, Quebec City police spokesperson Étienne Doyon told reporters early Sunday.
The man was arrested in the Old Port area of Quebec City, near the waterfront. A Radio-Canada reporter on the scene said the man was spotted crouching by a bush by a security guard patrolling the area.
Police shut down the area around the historic part of Old Quebec City and near the National Assembly.
Late Saturday night Quebec City police sent out alerts on social media saying that they were looking for a man dressed in medieval clothing and armed with a sword who had left “multiple victims.” People were told to stay in their homes and lock their doors.
The first calls to police came in around 10:28 p.m. Saturday, Doyon said. Witnesses said one person was injured near the Château Frontenac hotel in Vieux-Québec. The Le Soleil newspaper reported early Sunday that three women found the first victim on the ground near the hotel and called authorities.
Other witnesses said they saw the suspect running through Old Quebec with his weapon in his hand.
As of 1 a.m. Sunday, police were still recommending people stay inside with their doors locked. The police investigation was still ongoing.
Five people were taken to hospital to be treated for their injuries, but police spokesperson Doyon would not say what their injuries were.
A spokesperson for the Centre hospitalier universitaire du Québec said it did not appear that their injuries were serious.
Doyon asked anyone with information to contact 911.
Witnesses posted videos on social media showing police officers with dogs patrolling the streets of Old Quebec. The National Assembly buildings were surrounded by police vehicles.
Carlos Godoy, who lives in the area, said police K-9 units had searched his backyard as they hunted for the suspect.
“It was really erratic, very abnormal for the neighbourhood,” he said.
“It’s a full moon, it’s October 31st. It’s Halloween, and it’s a lockdown weekend. No one should be out on the streets,” Godoy said. “And I’m in an extremely quiet neighbourhood because there are no tourists nowadays.”
Canada’s federal public safety minister Bill Blair on Twitter said that his team was closely following what had happened in Quebec City. “Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and loved ones following this horrific act of violence,” he said. Blair thanked the first responders and wished the full recovery to the victims.
Conservative MP Gérard Deltell, who represents the Louis-Saint-Laurent riding in Quebec City, also said on Twitter he was “deeply troubled by the terrible tragedy”, and offered his thoughts to the victims, their families and first responders.