'I don't want to forget what happened,' says Montreal shooting victim
Published Saturday, September 8, 2012 8:45PM EDT
The man who survived the shooting at a Montreal bar as premier-elect Pauline Marois was giving her victory speech Tuesday evening says he wants “everyone to learn from what happened,” an ordeal that included the death of a good friend.
Dave Courage has endured a series of operations to repair damage to his hips and lower intestines in the wake of the shooting. He remains in hospital and can only now stand up and walk around his room.
Courage told CTV Montreal Saturday that he and a group of colleagues were milling about on a staircase, waiting to enter the facility to begin work, when he heard a shot.
“I felt the bullet hit me, but I’d never had a bullet hit me before, so it felt brand new,” Courage said in a telephone interview from his hospital room. “It felt like, ‘Who just punched me in the hips?’”
Courage said he first noticed the intense pain, and then he realized that he was unable to remain on his feet.
“The first thought that went through my mind was, ‘What’s going on?’ The second thought was, ‘Is this for real?’ The third thought was, ‘Am I paralyzed?’”
Courage was pulled through a door by a Quebec provincial police officer, who tended to him until an ambulance arrived.
It was only when he arrived at the hospital that he learned that his close friend and colleague, Denis Blanchette, had been killed in the shooting.
“The worst is that my very, very, very close friend lost his life that night,” Courage said. “I can’t stop thinking of that. I keep hearing his little girl calling for him. That’s the worst for me.”
A funeral for Blanchette is planned for Monday, at a church in the city’s east end. Marois is expected to attend along with other MNAs. Courage is still too ill to leave hospital.
“I don’t want to forget Denis, I don’t want to forget what happened,” Courage said. “I want to learn from what happened, I want everyone to learn from what happened.”
Meanwhile, the suspect in the case, Richard Henry Bain, is facing 16 charges, including murder, attempted murder and arson.
He did not enter a plea during a court appearance on Thursday. Court heard that only one bullet was fired near the entrance to the Metropolis club as Marois was speaking to supporters.
Court also heard that Bain had two guns in his possession and three in his vehicle, while 17 others were at his home. All of the guns were registered, except for one.
Bain, 62, will next appear in court on Oct. 11.
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Stephane Giroux