Quebec City mosque gunman wished he had killed more people: report
Messages of sympathy are on display during a gathering at the Centre Islamique de Quebec, marking the first anniversary of the mosque shooting, Saturday, January 27, 2018 in Quebec City. (Jacques Boissinot/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
QUEBEC -- The man who murdered six Muslim men in 2017 told a social worker several months after the killings that he wished there had been more victims, evidence tabled in court Monday indicated.
In her report tabled by the Crown, social worker Guylaine Cayouette said Alexandre Bissonnette told her he had idolized serial killers since his adolescence and he wanted to make a splash of his own.
"I regret not having killed more people," Bissonnette reportedly said in September 2017, eight months after he entered a Quebec City mosque and shot dead six men following evening prayers. "The victims are in the sky and I'm living in hell."
Cayouette's report was entered as evidence during sentencing arguments for Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty last month to six charges of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder in the shooting.
She had met Bissonnette on the request of a nurse, who said he had not been feeling well. Cayouette noted that as soon as the 28-year-old entered her office in the Quebec City prison, he began to cry.
The social worker added that Bissonnette also told her, "I wanted glory."
Also Monday, Aymen Derbali, who lost the use of his legs in the shooting, testified in court.
He was the first of Bissonnette's victims to take the stand.
Derbali, who is confined to a wheelchair, said he was configuring his son's television on Jan. 29, 2017, when he realized he was likely going to be late for 7:30 p.m. prayers.
He said he hesitated a bit, and then decided to go to the mosque.
Derbali, a father of three, had just entered the mosque when he heard gunshots.
"I was the closest one," he told the court.
He said he was hit in the leg and fell to the floor.
Derbali, 41, said he tried to crawl and stop the shooter, but then Bissonnette blasted him.
Bissonnette fired seven bullets into Derbali's body, including one that remains lodged in his spinal cord.
Derbali was asked by reporters what it was like to be in the courtroom along with Bissonnette.
"I didn't look at him at all," Derbali said. "He was just -- I didn't look at him at all."
Earlier in the day, a report of Bissonnette's internet search history on his laptop indicated he visited websites about guns, U.S. President Donald Trump, feminism, Islam and the terrorist group ISIL in the weeks preceding the murders.
On the actual day of the killings, Bissonnette visited the mosque's website 12 times, a report compiled by the RCMP said.
Bissonnette allegedly visited the Facebook page belonging to the Muslim student association at his university on 10 different days in January 2017 and was a frequent visitor to the websites of two women's groups, including one also based at his school.
He also allegedly made multiple searches on Trump as well as on firearms.
It's unclear what percentage these topics represented of Bissonnette's total internet search history.
Also in January 2017, Bissonnette is said to have looked up videos of shootings and information on guns and ammunition. Shortly before he entered the mosque, he allegedly searched for videos on the Glock pistol, the same type of firearm he used to kill six men.
The RCMP report said Bissonnette searched the web for information on mass killers, including white supremacist Dylan Roof as well as Marc Lepine, the shooter in Montreal's 1989 Ecole Polytechnique massacre.
Bissonnette told police during his interrogation in the hours after the shooting that he approved of Trump's attempt to limit immigration to the U.S. because terrorists could sneak into the country.
On the day of the killings, Bissonnette also allegedly looked up a Twitter message written the previous day by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who used the social platform to welcome refugees to Canada.
Bissonnette can receive consecutive sentences, which would mean up to 150 years in prison, but his legal team is hoping he receives concurrent sentences, which would see him eligible to apply for parole after 25 years.