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The Globe and Mail

Quebec man faces manslaughter charges after shooting death of toddler

A Quebec man facing a manslaughter charge in the shooting death of a two-year-old boy will remain behind bars until a bail hearing next week.

Nicolas Lacroix was formally charged Friday at the courthouse in Quebec City.

The boy, Nathan Lecours, died after being struck by a bullet from a handgun that discharged on Thursday night in a home in Levis, near Quebec City.

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The 36-year-old man from Levis, Que., faces two charges: manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death.

Quebec provincial police say they won't provide any details about what happened inside the home. Earlier Friday, the police force had indicated one hypothesis they were looking into was that the incident was an unintentional act.

Local police reported receiving a 911 call from the home in Levis, just across the river from the provincial capital.

When they arrived they found the boy dead, and two adults, including the child's mother, in a state of shock.

Mr. Lacroix is not related to the child but had come to the home on Thursday night. He was picked up by investigators from the hospital while the mother was released.

Police spokesman Richard Gagne described Mr. Lacroix as an acquaintance of the toddler's mother. Some reports said Mr. Lacroix had gone over to the home because the mother feared for her safety.

Earlier Thursday, the mother had complained on Facebook that she was being threatened. In a status update on Thursday morning, the mother said a man in his 40s has been harassing her.

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"I fear for my safety and that of my son, the process with the police is too long for my taste, and my stalker is mad. Now he calls me to scare me and insult me," she wrote.

Mr. Gagne confirmed the alleged threats were part of the police investigation but would not confirm there was any link to Nathan's death.

On Friday, people came by the home to drop off flowers and stuffed animals in the little boy's memory.

His father posted a lengthy video of the blond-haired boy on YouTube.

Police say an autopsy will be conducted and neighbours are being questioned.

Mr. Lacroix's bail hearing will be held early next week.

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