Video: Masked Gunman Opens Fire at Victory Speech for Quebec Leader

Marois, first woman elected premier of Quebec, is rushed offstage after gunman opens fire during speech.

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During a victory speech by the newly elected head of government in the Canadian province of Quebec, a masked man broke into the theater and opened fire, killing one and seriously injuring another. Pauline Marois, the leader of Quebec separatist party Parti Quebecois, escaped unscathed after her bodyguards rushed her offstage.

Police aprehended a 62-year-old, heavy-set man in a blue bathrobe, glasses, and a black ski mask shortly after the shooting. He is suspected to have entered the theater through the back door with a rifle and handgun. After shooting one 45-year-old man, who died at the scene, and injuring another, the gunman fled the theater and set a small fire before being arrested, police say.

While being taken away, the suspect was heard shouting, "The English are waking up!" in French with an English accent, according to the Montreal Gazette. He also repeatedly shouted "There's going to be [expletive] payback! It's enough!" the Gazette reported.

Marois returned to the stage after the incident to finish the speech on her party's victory in the province's election. Parti Quebecois advocates stronger French-language laws and secession from Canada for the province, positions that have elevated tensions in the area, especially among English-speaking and minority residents. Marois is the first female premier in Quebec's history. She called the events an "unfortunate incident" and asked for calm.

Police have not identified a motive, and believe the suspect acted alone.

Seth Cline is a reporter with U.S. News and World Report. Contact him at or follow him on ">Twitter.