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Quebec shooting suspect: His gun jammed, saving lives, say police

Quebec shooting suspect Richard Henry Bain was arraigned Thursday on 16 charges, including murder, attempted murder, and possession of explosives. Bain, owner of a fishing and hunting lodge, had legally registered 22 guns.

By Phil Courvrette and Rob GilliesAssociated Press / September 6, 2012

Richard Henry Bain arrives at court in Montreal on Thursday, Sept.6, 2012. Bain, 61, the suspect in a deadly shooting at a rally following the election of Quebec’s new separatist premier.

(AP Photo/Le Devoir via The Canadian Press, Jacques Nadeau)

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Montreal

The suspect in a deadly shooting at a rally following the election of Quebec's new separatist premier was arraigned Thursday on 16 charges, including murder, attempted murder and possession of explosives.

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Richard Henry Bain, 62, of La Conception, Quebec, made his first appearance in court behind protective glass Thursday after being accused of opening fire at a midnight victory rally Tuesday for Quebec's new premier, Pauline Marois of the separatist Parti Quebecois. Prosecutors said that after firing his gun, Bain used a flare to light a fire.

Bain, wearing a white T-shirt, appeared calm and alert during his appearance in the highly-secured courtroom. He was represented by a legal aid lawyer who he spoke with briefly. Bain is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 11.

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Denis Blanchette , was killed and a 27-year-old was injured just outside the Montreal theater.

Prosecutor Elaine Perreault said outside the courtroom that Bain had two weapons on him and three more in his car nearby. She said he had many more at home including shut guns, most of which were registered. She said he had 22 registered guns in total, but said authorities don't know exactly how many others he had at home. Bain was the owner of hunting and fishing lodge.

When asked if Bain targeted the premier, she said only that there might be additional charges. She said they are continuing to investigate the motive.

Bain was in a "proper state of mind" to appear in court after spending some time in a hospital, she said.

The suspect's gun jammed after the initial shots were fired, a Quebec police official said Thursday, possibly saving lives.

Meanwhile, neighbors and acquaintances of the man said he was a friendly but often frustrated businessman who had overseen several failed ventures, but never had any public outbursts, leaving them to wonder how he could be charged with such crimes.

People who know Bain, the owner of a hunting and fishing resort 90 miles (145 kilometers) north of Montreal, recalled his complaints about bureaucracy but could think of no political grievances he held. Quebec provincial police said the masked gunman wearing a bathrobe opened fire just outside the building where Pauline Marois of the separatist Parti Quebecois was giving her victory speech just before midnight Tuesday.

The gunman was shown on television, dressed in a bathrobe and ski mask, shouting: "The English are waking up!" in French as police dragged him away.

The mayor of La Conception, Maurice Plouffe, said he was "very surprised" to hear Bain was tied to the shooting and said the images of the suspect being dragged away by police "were not easy to watch." Plouffe said Bain was sometimes frustrated in his dealings with the city after seeing a number of zoning requests were rebuffed, but added "I have never seen him become aggressive, he was quite normal."

A man full of ideas and proposals, Bain, however, had a number of unsuccessful business ventures.

"He had many projects but not many of them materialized," Plouffe said.

A list of members of the Mont Tremblant Chamber of Commerce describes Richard Bain as the owner of Les Activités Rick, which promotes itself as a major fly-fishing destination.

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