Richard Henry Bain came to Tuesday’s Parti Québécois election-night rally heavily armed, prosecutors allege: He had two weapons on him and another three in his vehicle, part of a vast array of some two dozen guns in his personal collection.
The disclosures by the Crown came after Mr. Bain, who turns 62 on Saturday, was charged Thursday with first-degree murder and 15 other counts in the deadly shooting that overshadowed the PQ’s election victory and made headlines around the world.
Despite the raft of charges, Mr. Bain looked calm and even cracked a smile in court after he was led into a glass-enclosed protective pen in Montreal’s Palais de Justice.
Dressed in a white T-shirt over his stocky frame, the bespectacled fishing-lodge owner scanned the courtroom several times from behind his high-security enclosure.
Several seats were filled by family and friends of Denis Blanchette, the 48-year-old father and grandfather shot dead on Tuesday while taking a break as a stagehand at the political celebration. One man in the courtroom, who identified himself as Mr. Blanchette’s nephew, held up a photo of two young children, one of whom was Mr. Blanchette’s young daughter, he said.
Aside from the two guns involved in Tuesday’s shooting, police found three others in Mr. Bain’s black GMC Yukon van parked near the nightclub. More than 20 were found at his home near Mont Tremblant in the Laurentians north of Montreal. All but one of the weapons in his collection was legally registered.
In addition to first-degree murder, Mr. Bain faces three counts of attempted murder, weapons-related offenses, arson-related charges and possession of incendiary devices or explosives, including flares and gas canisters.
Prosecutors say Mr. Bain used a flare to set a fire outside the Metropolis concert hall on Montreal’s Ste. Catherine Street, where PQ premier-designate Pauline Marois was delivering a victory speech.
Mr. Bain faces the attempted-murder charges against three people who found themselves outside, at the back of the hall – two civilians and a provincial police sergeant who had been placing him under arrest. One of the citizens, a stagehand, was wounded, while the two others were targeted but not shot at by the gunman, the prosecution says.
While he was not charged with any crime related to an attack against Ms. Marois, Crown prosecutor Eliane Perreault said further charges may follow. She said further investigation was needed before establishing a motive for the crime.
Lawyers did not request a psychiatric evaluation for Mr. Bain, and the Crown said he was in a “proper state of mind” to appear in court.
He was arrested after the shooting and shouted “the English are waking up” in French as he was being led away by police. His court proceedings on Thursday were in English.
According to the charges, weaponry in Mr. Bain’s possession on Tuesday included a revolver, pistol and a semi-automatic rifle.
Mr. Bain returns to court Oct. 11.