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Quebec gunman charged with murder

The man accused of opening fire and killing one person at a Quebec separatist election victory rally has been charged with first-degree murder.

Richard B. appeared only briefly at the court in Montreal where the charges against him were read and a hearing was set for October 11.

A police source confirmed reports that the suspect, believed to be aged either 61 or 62, was held in custody after the shooting. The incident took place outside a concert venue where Quebec's new separatist premier-designate Pauline Marois was addressing supporters after her election win.

In addition to the murder count, prosecutor Eliane Perrault said there were three counts of attempted murder involving two civilians, including one person who was wounded in the incident, and a police officer who stopped the gunman.

Police said they have found no apparent motive for the shooting, and there was no evidence that the suspect had accomplices. However, the assailant was captured on video wearing a balaclava and bathrobe and shouting anti-French slogans.

A total of 16 charges were filed against the English-speaking suspect, who is the owner of a hunting and fishing business in Mont Tremblant, 150 kilometers (90 miles) north of Montreal.

Most charges were related to possession of weapons, two of which he had with him at the time of the shooting. Neither the defense lawyer nor the prosecution asked the court to have the defendant's undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Editor's note: Deutsche Welle is bound by German law and the German press code, which stresses the importance of protecting the privacy of suspected criminals or victims and obliges us to refrain from revealing full names in such cases.

rc/mkg (AFP, Reuters)

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