By Dimitris Ilias
A 24-year-old man has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder after allegedly attacking seven people with a sword in the historic district of Quebec City while dressed in a medieval outfit on Halloween night.
Court documents identify the accused as Carl Girouard. Although the documents do not reveal Girouard’s home address, the media has been reporting that he is from Sainte-Thérèse.
Neighbors of Carl Girouard and his family learned the details of the stabbing attacks in Quebec with surprise and dismay, while the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) carried out a search in Sainte-Thérèse at the home of the suspect.
With front row seats on the vast police scene, they observed the comings and goings of the officers for a good part of the day. Nothing like this has never happened in the area, at the intersection of rue Vaudry and place Brosseau where Carl Girouard lived, arrested during the night from Saturday to Sunday in connection with the gruesome murders in Old Quebec.
The vehicles of the SQ and the Régie intermunicipale de police Thérèse-De Blainville were stationed in front of the suspect’s residence at 4 a.m. on Sunday. Members of the tactical squad and police entered the building where the apartment is located.
Before settling in his current home, Carl Girouard lived in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, with his mother. Police officers and relatives also went there early in the morning at the request of the family.
Among the residents of the street, the news was greeted with great sadness. They described the suspect as a “really good boy”. One neighbor met the suspect in 2019 during the flooding here and stated that he helped his mother and several neighbors during the floods and did not appear like someone tormented or upset, or having any psychological problems. A neighbor, who preferred not to be identified, claimed to have seen the young man talking to himself in recent weeks, but nothing more. His contacts with the alleged killer were limited to expressions of courtesy. The suspect has been living in Sainte-Thérèse for less than a year.
What the PDs announced
Around 4:30 p.m., the SQ personnel left the scene, but Blainville police continued to monitor the scene long after dark. NSN reached out to the Therese de Blainville PD for more information. The department’s spokesperson Martin Charron informed us that his department is not involved in the investigation. It assisted the City of Quebec’s Police department in maintaining a perimeter during the operations. It is the Quebec PD that handles the entire investigation. Quebec City police Chief Robert Pigeon announced that the identity of the victims was confirmed by the coroner’s office.
They are Mr. François Duchesne, 56 years old, as well as Ms. Suzanne Clermont, 61 years old. The victims were both residents of Quebec City. The Service de police de la Ville de Québec (SPVQ) offered its support and sympathies for the victims and relatives of the victims of the tragic event. The other 5 residents that were injured from this attack are in no danger.
The instrument of death
According to the Quebec PD, Carl Girouard used a katana sword to commit the crimes. A katana is a Japanese sword characterized by a curved, single-edged blade with a circular or squared guard and long grip to accommodate two hands. It was used by the samurai of ancient and feudal Japan.
Flags at half-mast
The City of Sainte-Thérèse put its flags at half-mast following the sad events that occurred on October 31 in Quebec City. According to the city these totally incomprehensible gestures indicate an important need for mental health services in our province.
“On behalf of the municipal council, I offer our most sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims of this terrible tragedy. We are wholeheartedly with the entire population of Quebec, who are shaken by this tragedy. Our thoughts are also with those injured who will need to show courage in their recovery. We are all in shock at the actions committed, and this tells us that there must be a comprehensive review of the services offered to citizens suffering from mental health problems in Quebec”, declared the mayoress of Sainte-Thérèse, Ms. Sylvie. Surprenant.
The City is also offering a helping hand since the exceptional situation also entails unforeseen needs. Anyone needing a helping hand can call 211 or visit www.211qc.cato find a service or organization that can provide support during this trying period. It’s free and confidential.