A man who entered a Gatineau, Que. daycare centre, shooting an employee to death before turning the gun on himself, was in the midst of a marriage breakup.

Gatineau police identified one of the two dead men as Robert Charron, whose wife is director of the daycare.

 

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A Gatineau police officer hands a child to her mother after a daycare shooting that left two men dead Friday morning. (CBC)

Daycare staff at 225 and 229 Gamelin St. called 911 at 10:27 a.m. ET Friday about a man who was threatening people, according to Gatineau police Chief Mario Harel, who spoke at a 2 p.m. news conference.

Police arrived at the scene at about 10:30 a.m. and entered the daycare soon after.

Officers quickly spotted a man lying on the floor with a shotgun lying beside him, Harel said.

Although police wouldn't confirm that Charron was the shooter, they said he and his wife had been breaking up their relationship.

Second body found in another building

The body of another man was found in another building at the same daycare. His identity has not been released, pending the notification of relatives.

Shots were fired in both buildings, police said.

Children and other daycare staff were quickly led to a neighbour's house, where food was provided until parents arrived.

Neighbours and daycare staff reacted well to the situation, Harel said.

It was initially reported that only one person was dead at the scene, and that no staff or children had been hurt.

Of the 53 children at the daycare, 48 were at 225 Gamelin, all under five years old, said Gatineau police spokesman Sgt. Jean-Paul Le May. There were also five infants at 229 Gamelin.

The home is registered as Les Racines de vie Montessori, a small daycare that opened within the past year, according to a provincial inspection report from September 2012.

Anxious parents arrive to pick up children

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Parents of children attending a daycare where shots were fired on Friday wait for police to bring them their children. (CBC)

Parents were asked to wait at a bus while police gathered the children.

While arriving at the scene, one parent said, "I can't believe the knot inside" her stomach.

The daycares are located in houses across the street from the Hull Hospital.

Hospital staff were seen bringing trolleys with lunches to the children as they waited for their parents.

Live blog recap

The following Twitter blog followed CBC reporters covering the story as it developed.