(Quebec) The author of the saber attack that killed two people in Old Quebec on Halloween night had announced his plan in 2014, six years before taking action, and had even already a suit and a sword in his possession.
A psychoeducator and a social worker testified on Monday during the first day of Carl Girouard’s trial. The perpetrator of the October 31, 2020 killing is charged with two first degree murders and five attempted murders.
“He confirmed to me that he had a plan to kill people with a sword randomly. It was not a plan for now and he was not sure to execute it, ”said Charles-André Bourdua, social worker employed in 2014 in a CLSC in the Laurentians.
That year, Carl Girouard was a student in a vocational training center. At the dawn of his twenties, he had made “disturbing” remarks. He was first sent to a psychoeducator at his school.
“He said that he did not necessarily want to hurt anyone, but said that a sword, when it approaches the world, it can hurt,” psychoeducator Hugo Mercier Villeneuve told the court.
Girouard wanted “to be seen, recognized”
During a meeting, Girouard confides in a text he wrote, in which teenagers meet a masked man, costumed and dressed in black. The masked man kills two people.
“His plan had three objectives: to create a character, to take pride in his action and to confirm his existence,” the psychoeducator told the court.
Directed to the CLSC, Girouard began a series of nine meetings with Charles-André Bourdua. The social worker will even go to his home. He notices that Girouard has a saber on the wall. But the young man tells him that it is not the one with whom he wants to commit his stunt.
With this gesture, the young man from the Laurentians wants to “be seen, recognized, make headlines”. “He seeks the approval not of the general population, but of a kindred spirit or an alter ego,” according to Mr. Bourdua’s notes.
But Girouard is not ready. He wants to change his sword, improve his costume. He also wants to have a tattoo removed to be “pure” when he acts out.
As the meetings progressed, Girouard’s plan softened. He talks one day about going to a roof brandishing a sword. Then finally consider a gesture that is not criminal.
The follow-up of Charles-André Bourdua comes to an end in September 2015, and he directs the young man to psychiatry. Mr. Bourdua’s testimony will continue on Tuesday.
The issue of mental disorders
Carl Girouard’s trial began Monday at the Quebec City courthouse. The man from the northern crown of Montreal went to Quebec on October 31, 2020. Disguised, masked and armed with a saber, he attacked many passers-by, left two dead and five seriously injured.
“He wanted to be an agent of chaos, to demonstrate his courage by doing things that others would not do”, launched the Crown prosecutor, Mand Francois Godin.
The trial is expected to last four weeks. The jury will have to decide if Girouard is criminally responsible for the actions he admitted to having committed. The defense argues that he was mentally ill, which the prosecution denies.
“Our claim is that Mr. Girouard was not mentally ill and therefore is responsible for his actions,” said Mr.and Godin to the 12 jurors. “He had long planned a coup. »
Several witnesses told the media that they were disconcerted at the sight of this disguised man, armed with a saber, one Halloween night.
Suzanne Clermont, 61, was killed as she left her home to smoke a cigarette. The other victim, François Duchesne, 56, was just taking a walk in Old Quebec. Five other innocent people were seriously injured.