Police at the scene of Quebec City mosque attack
Police at the scene of Quebec City mosque attack Reuters

The suspect in Sunday night’s shooting attack in a mosque in Quebec City was charged on Monday with six counts of first-degree murder and five charges of attempted murder while using a restricted firearm, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reports.

The suspect has been identified as Alexandre Bissonnette, 27, from the Quebec City suburb of Cap-Rouge.

Bissonnette appeared in a Quebec City court on Monday afternoon.

According to his Facebook page, which has since been taken down, Bissonnette studied anthropology and political science at Laval University and was a cadet as a child.

Laval University confirmed Monday afternoon that Bissonnette was a student in the social sciences faculty. In a statement, the university said that effective immediately, he is barred from all activities at the school until all judicial proceedings are over.

Six men were killed in Sunday’s shooting which occurred during evening prayers at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec.

Five people remain in hospital with injuries, according to the CBC. Two will need more surgery, while the other three are stable and may be discharged soon. Another 13 people with minor injuries have been released, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Two men were initially arrested following the shooting, but shortly after noon on Monday, the Quebec provincial police said only one of the men is a suspect in the attack. The second man is now considered a witness.

One of the men was arrested at the mosque within minutes of the attack. Police say a second man called 911 after the shooting, indicating that he wanted to co-operate in the investigation.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday night condemned the attack.

“While authorities are still investigating and details continue to be confirmed, it is heart-wrenching to see such senseless violence. Diversity is our strength, and religious tolerance is a value that we, as Canadians, hold dear,” he said in a statement.

“Muslim-Canadians are an important part of our national fabric, and these senseless acts have no place in our communities, cities and country. Canadian law enforcement agencies will protect the rights of all Canadians, and will make every effort to apprehend the perpetrators of this act and all acts of intolerance,” added Trudeau.