Two elderly people were killed and nine others injured after a truck driver deliberately struck pedestrians on a Quebec sidewalk, Canadian authorities believe.
Steeve Gagnon, 38, reportedly appeared to smile as police escorted him past pesky locals and into an Amqui, Que. courthouse.
“He’s smiling,” a witness said. watched by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
The alleged rampage on Monday afternoon killed Gérald Charest, 65, and Jean Lafrenière, 73, while three people were left in critical condition. An infant and a toddler were among the other injured, according to the CBC.
Witnesses said Gagnon’s truck jumped onto the sidewalk outside a brewery around 3:00 p.m., where he allegedly sped toward pedestrians. Ken Moreau thanks quick reflexes and a streetlight for his well-being.
“I just had time to jump to safety, and he crushed everyone on the sidewalk,” Moreau told CBC. “The man right in front of me didn’t stand a chance.”
He believes the man was one of the fatalities.
Local resident Daniel Thériault said Tuesday that he had known Charest and Lafrenière for 30 years. The two victims were known to go for walks together.
“I am very angry,” Thériault said. “We don’t usually know this kind of tragedy. … I know these people.”
It is unclear what may have motivated Gagnon, who, according to the CBC, pleaded guilty to drink-driving in 2006. Quebec’s Minister of Public Safety, François Bonnardel, cautioned against making assumptions about the suspect’s mental state. . He pleaded not guilty Tuesday and will remain jailed while he awaits his next court date.
Investigators said Gagnon’s alleged victims appear to have been chosen at random. Here, what. it has a population of 6,000.