Suspect in college shootings identified - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/13/06

Suspect in college shootings identified

Students flee the scene after a gunman opened fire at Dawson College in downtown Montreal on Wednesday. Students flee the scene after a gunman opened fire at Dawson College in downtown Montreal on Wednesday.
Evacuated students comfort each other after the shootings. Seven-thousand students attend day classes at the college Evacuated students comfort each other after the shootings. Seven-thousand students attend day classes at the college
A woman is taken from the scene on a stretcher Wednesday. The gunman killed one student and wounded 19 others. A woman is taken from the scene on a stretcher Wednesday. The gunman killed one student and wounded 19 others.

MONTREAL, Quebec (AP) -- Investigators tried to determine Thursday why a young man in a black trench coat and a mohawk haircut opened fire in a Montreal college, killing one woman and left 19 other people wounded.

Six victims remained in critical condition, including two in extremely critical condition.

The attacker's name is Kimveer Gill, 25, of Laval, near Montreal, a police official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because police were not ready to announce it publicly yet.

The official said they searched his home.

Police credited aggressive new procedures with stopping the gunman, who died in a shootout with police.

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 the gunman started shooting outside downtown Dawson college Wednesday, 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. They said the 25-year-old attacker was from the Montreal area, but provided little other information. His car was still at the school, and police were searching his apartment, said Police Sgt. Francois Dore.

The young man opened fire haphazardly at no target in particular, until he saw the police and took aim at them, 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, Barone said, the gunman went down in a hail of bullets.

Delorme said some officers were at the school on an unrelated matter when the shooting erupted. He said reinforcements rushed to the scene and took part in the shooting.

Scores of students fled into the streets after the shooting began. 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."

Police said the attacker had a rapid-fire rifle and two other weapons. They did not provide details.

Although police initially suggested the gunman had killed himself, Delorme later said at a news conference that "based on current information, the suspect was killed by police."

Dr. Tarek Ruzek of Montreal General Hospital said Thursday that two of the 11 people that were admitted to his hospital are in "extremely critical condition."

One has head wounds and the other has abdominal wounds.

The eleven shooting victims -- six men and five women -- range in age from 17-48.

"Today we have witnessed a cowardly and senseless act of violence unfold at Montreal's Dawson College," Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said. "Our primary concern right now is to ensure the safety and recovery of all those who were injured during this tragedy."

The school was closed until Monday.

The shooting recalled the 1999 attack at Columbine High School in Colorado, where two students wearing trench coats killed 13 people before committing suicide.

Police in Colorado were criticized for moving too slowly to stop those gunmen.

Canada's worst mass shooting took place in Montreal when gunman Marc Lepine, 25, killed 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnic on December 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.

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.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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