Quebec City mosque shooter obsessed with mass murderers since adolescence

Alexandre Bissonnette's obsession with mass murderers started when he was an adolescent, and he had wanted to be carry out a mass killing ever since, a Quebec City courtroom heard on Monday.

'I regret not shooting more people,' Alexandre Bisonnette says in report presented during sentencing arguments

Alexandre Bissonnette was charged with six counts of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder in connection with the Jan. 29, 2017 shooting. (Sûreté du Québec/Canadian Press )

Alexandre Bissonnette's obsession with mass murderers started when he was an adolescent, and he had wanted to carry out a mass killing ever since, a Quebec City court heard on Monday.

A report written by social worker Guylaine Cayouette set off cries of horror inside the courtroom when it was presented as evidence on Monday by the Crown at sentencing arguments for the 28-year-old.

Bissonnette pleaded guilty in March to six counts of first degree murder, as well as six counts of attempted murder for the Jan. 29, 2017 shooting.

Quebec Superior Court Justice François Huot must decide whether Bissonnette will be eligible for parole after 25 years, or not at all. Huot has the possibility of adding up the parole eligibility sentences, which could mean 150 years behind bars.

Cayouette, Bissonnette's liaison officer, filed the report after a meeting with him on Sept. 20, 2017. That day, she wrote, Bissonnette carried himself differently from the man she had met, almost weekly, since his arrest.

Bissonnette told her he was tired of playing a game, and that he remembered everything about the attack.

In contrast to his muddled responses to police immediately after the shooting, Bissonnette described in detail what happened when he approached the mosque in the Quebec City suburb of Sainte-Foy.

He said when he entered the prayer room, an old man grabbed his arm, presumably Azzeddine Soufiane, who tried to disarm Bissonnette that night.

"I shot him. I regret not shooting more people," he told Cayouette.

Alexandre Bissonnette wears a Make America Great Again hat of the kind used in President Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign. (Court handout)

Inside the courtroom, families of the victims cried out as the report was read aloud. They also heard that Bissonnette said he could have killed anyone, not just Muslims.

When court adjourned for break, Bissonnette stood up looking directly at the audience, with what looked like a huge smile.

Hours scouring the Internet

Earlier in the day, the court heard how Bissonnette spent hours in front of his computer screen looking up mass shootings, Islam and U.S. immigration policies in the days leading up to the shooting.

During the month of January 2017, he typed in the words "shooting" and "shooter" 150 times in his search engine, a police report presented as evidence shows.

Six men died in the attack on the Quebec Mosque. They are, clockwise from left, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Azzeddine Soufiane, Abdelkrim Hassane, Ibrahima Barry, Aboubaker Thabti and Khaled Belkacemi. (CBC)
He also looked for information about the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre and the Muslim students association at Laval University 82 times during that month and 12 times in the hours before shooting.

Bissonnette seemed particularly interested in Dylann Roof, a white supremacist who killed nine churchgoers inside a church in South Carolina, searching for references to the mass murderer 201 times during that month.

He also looked up references to Marc Lépine, the man convicted of killing 14 women in 1989 at the Polytechnique engineering school, and looked into feminist groups at Laval University. 

A photo of Bissonnette found on his computer shows him wearing a red baseball cap with the slogan used by Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, Make America Great Again. 

Bissonnette read several articles detailing Trump's executive order which would have temporarily banned people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

He also consulted Donald Trump's twitter feed on a daily basis, Jacques said.

The evidence presented on Monday supported information found in Bissonnette's interrogation video, which was presented last Friday.

Just two hours before entering the Sainte-Foy mosque and firing his gun 48 times, Bissonnette read a tweet from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which welcomed "those fleeing persecution" into Canada, according to evidence presented Monday.

Victim impact statements began Monday afternoon, with survivor Aymen Derbali.

Read his story here: