Police carry body out of site of PQ celebration

MONTREAL – A victim’s body was carried out from a Montreal crime scene Wednesday that just hours earlier had been the site of a political victory party.

Authorities wheeled out the covered body of the 48-year-old man, carrying it on a gurney and lifting it into a van, around noon.

The scene behind the Metropolis club came about a dozen hours after pandemonium swept over what had been a celebration for the newly elected Parti Quebecois. The incident triggered the surreal scene of a victory speech by Pauline Marois being interrupted as she was whisked off the stage by bodyguards.

A shooter had blasted his way into the back of the building, shooting two people and killing one, before setting a fire at the exit. Upon being tackled to the ground by police, a masked and housecoat-wearing suspect shouted about an awakening of English-speaking Quebecers.

The events have sent shockwaves across the political world, with expressions of condolence and disbelief trickling back from elsewhere in the country. Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement saying he was angered and saddened that such an event could happen in the country.

Harper’s initial phone call to premier-designate Pauline Marois touched on the business of government but also on the tragic events.

“(Harper) indicated that such acts of violence are inexcusable and have no place in Canada,” said a summary of the discussion, provided by the Prime Minister’s Office.

The scene of last night’s PQ victory party is now part of a security permieter, a one-block area in Montreal’s downtown sectioned off with orange and blue police tape.

Around two dozen investigators were still on the scene a dozen hours later. Some were examining a gas canister lying near a GMC truck, believed to be linked to the crime.

During the incident, police confiscated a weapon that carried a resemblance to an AK-47 assault rifle.

Reports say the victim was a sound technician who was working at the Metropolis club last night. Police confirmed the man’s name but not his employer.

The source also confirmed the name of the shooting suspect, who has yet to be charged.

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