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Deadly shooting at Quebec premier's rally

MONTREAL -- A man accused of opening fire at a midnight victory rally for Quebec's new separatist premier was questioned Wednesday, but police said the suspect's rambling statements in French and English yielded no immediate motive for the shooting that killed one.

A police official identified the suspect as Richard Henry Bain, 62, from La Conception, Quebec. The police official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the suspect had not been charged yet.

Provincial police said earlier that a masked gunman wearing a bathrobe opened fire just outside the building where Pauline Marois of the separatist Parti Québecois was giving her victory speech.

The gunman was heard shouting in French, "The English are waking up!" as police dragged him away.

Marois was whisked off the stage by guards as she was speaking and was not injured.

"I am deeply affected by this but I have to go forward and assume my responsibilities," Marois said yesterday.

"In spite of this tragedy we must say Quebec is a nonviolent society. An act of folly cannot rid us of this reality," she added.

Marois, who at 63 became Quebec's first female premier, called the shooting an isolated event and said it was probably a case of a person with "serious health issues." When she first went backstage, Marois said she saw that somebody was wounded and that there was a fire outside, but she thought everything was under control. Police said the suspect lit a small fire before he was arrested.

It was not clear whether the gunman was trying to shoot Marois, whose party favors separation from Canada for the French-speaking province.

Lt. Guy Lapointe of the provincial police said earlier the suspect was taken to a hospital during the interrogation, but his life was not in danger.

"We can't establish at this point what the motive or intent was," Lapointe said.

Police said a 48-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene and a 27-year-old man was wounded but would survive. A third man was treated for shock. Police didn't identify the victims.

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