Montreal Gunman Wrote of Death, Hatred
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MONTREAL (AP) – A man with a black trench coat whose shooting rampage in a Montreal college killed one person and wounded 19 others before he was slain by police said on a blog in his name that he liked to play a role-playing Internet game about the Columbine massacre.
The gunman who opened fire at Dawson College on Wednesday was Kimveer Gill, 25, of Laval, near Montreal, a police official said Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity because authorities were not ready to announce it publicly yet. He also said police had searched Mr. Gill’s home.
Six shooting victims remained in critical condition, including two in extremely critical condition. The dead student was identified as Anastasia DeSousa, 18, of Montreal.
A woman who answered the phone at Mr. Gill’s home and said he was her son described him as “a good man.”
“Just ask anybody. Ask the neighbors. He was a good son,” the woman told The Associated Press. She refused to give her name.
The woman added that police took his computer. “I don’t know what they found in the computer. They took everything,” she said.
Quebec provincial police Lt. Francois Dore said authorities were awaiting autopsy results before officially identifying the killer, but “everything leads us to believe that it is, in fact, this Mr. Gill.”
In postings on a Web site called VampireFreaks.com, blogs in Mr. Gill’s name show more than 50 photos depicting the young man in various poses holding a rifle and donning a black trench coat and combat boots.
One photo has a tombstone with his name on it and the epitaph: “Lived fast died young. Left a mangled corpse.”
The last of six journal entries Wednesday was posted at 10 a.m, about two hours before the gunmen was shot to death at Dawson.
He said on the site that he was drinking whiskey in the morning and described his mood the night before as “crazy” and “postal.”
At another point, he said he liked to play “Super Columbine Massacre,” an Internet-based computer game that simulates the April 20, 1999, shootings at the Colorado high school by two students who killed 13 people and then themselves.
“His name is Trench. you will come to know him as the Angel of Death,” he wrote on his vampirefreaks.com profile. “He is not a people person. He has met a handful of people in his life who are decent. But he finds the vast majority to be worthless, no good, conniving, betraying, lying, deceptive.”
He wrote that he hates jocks, preppies, country music and hip-hop.
“Work sucks … school sucks … life sucks … what else can I say? … Life is a video game you’ve got to die sometime,” he added.
Below a picture of Mr. Gill aiming the barrel of a gun at the camera there’s the inscription: “I think I have an obsession with guns … muahahaha.”
“Anger and hatred simmers within me,” said another caption below a picture of Mr. Gill grimacing.
He wrote that he is 6-foot-1, was born in Montreal and is of Indian heritage. He said his weakness is laziness and that he fears nothing. Responding to the question, “How do you want to die?” Mr. Gill replied “like Romeo and Juliet _ or in a hail of gunfire.”
Mr. Gill wore a black trench coat during the shooting and opened fire in the cafeteria just as Columbine students Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris did in 1999. Mr. Gill also maintained an online blog, similar to Klebold and Harris, devoted to Goth culture, heavy metal music such as Marilyn Manson, guns and journal entries expressing hatred against authority figures and “society.”
In another posting, he wrote, “Stop Bullying. It’s not only the bully’s fault you know!!” He blamed teachers and principals for “turning a blind eye,” and police “for not doing anything when people complain.”
Mr. Gill also posted the comment: “Stop making fun of each other because of the clothes you wear, or the way people talk or act, or any other reasons you make fun of each other. It’s all the jocks’ fault.”
A neighbor who lives across the street from Mr. Gill said he was a loner.
“There were never any friends,” Louise Leykauf said. “He kept to himself. He always wore dark clothing.”
Another neighbor, Mariola Trutschnigg, said she noticed a changed in appearance in recent months when he “started wearing a mohawk and black clothes.”
A 23-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl accused in a triple murder in Medicine Hat, Alberta, earlier this year also had profiles on vampirefreaks.com.
Montreal Police Chief Yvan Delorme said the lessons learned from other mass shootings had taught police to try to stop such assaults as quickly as possible.
“Before our technique was to establish a perimeter around the place and wait for the SWAT team. Now the first police officers go right inside. The way they acted saved lives,” he said.
Witnesses said Mr. Gill started shooting outside the college, then entered the second-floor cafeteria and opened fire without uttering a word. At times, he hid behind vending machines before emerging to take aim _ at one point at a teenager who tried to photograph him with his cell phone.
Police dismissed suggestions that terrorism played a role in the lunch-hour attack.
The gunman opened fire haphazardly at no target in particular, until he saw the police and took aim at them, Mr. Delorme said.
Police hid behind a wall as they exchanged fire with the gunman, whose back was against a vending machine, said student Andrea Barone, who was in the cafeteria. He said the officers proceeded cautiously because many students were trapped around the assailant, who yelled “Get back! Get back!” every time an officer tried to move closer.
Eventually, Ms. Barone said, the gunman went down in a hail of gunfire.
Mr. Delorme said some officers were at the school on an unrelated matter when the shooting began. He said reinforcements were sent to the scene.
Scores of students fled into the streets when the shooting broke out. Some had clothes stained with blood; others cried and clung to each other. Two nearby shopping centers and a daycare center also were evacuated and subway service was disrupted.
“I was terrified. The guy was shooting at people randomly. He didn’t care, he was just shooting at everybody,” said student Devansh Smri Vastava. “There were cops firing. It was so crazy.”
The gunman had a rapid-fire rifle and two other weapons, police said, without elaborating.
“This is a shocking and appalling tragedy,” Prime Minister Harper said Thursday. “Our primary concern right now is to ensure the safety and recovery of all those who were injured.”
Flags flew at half-staff at government buildings across Quebec.
Danny Ledonne, the creator of “Super Columbine Massacre,” posted a message of condolence on his site. “I am, like most, saddened by the news of the recent shooting at Dawson College. I extend my condolences to those affected by this painful event,” Ledonne wrote.
Dawson, with about 10,000 students, was the first English-language institution in Quebec’s network of university preparatory colleges when it was founded in 1969. It was closed until Monday.
Canada’s worst mass shooting took place in Montreal when gunman Marc Lepine, 25, killed 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnic on Dec. 6, 1989, before shooting himself.
That shooting spurred efforts for new gun laws achieved mainly as the results of efforts by survivors and relatives of Lepine’s victims.