Funeral for man killed in election night shooting
A security perimeter has been set up around a Montreal church where a rare civic funeral is being held for a man who was killed in a shooting with political overtones.
The funeral for Denis Blanchette is taking place with a heavy police presence, both inside and outside the church where a perimeter of nearly a full city block has been erected.
A crowd of onlookers has gathered in the distance, beyond a line of red police tape.
Premier-designate Pauline Marois is attending the funeral of the lighting technician, as have a number of other dignitaries including her PQ predecessor Bernard Landry. Among members of the outgoing Liberal government, Finance Minister Raymond Bachand is there.
As guests enter St-Donat church in east-end Montreal, a violinist is greeting them with sorrowful songs, including the Beatles' Yesterday.
A framed of Blanchette is on a stand in front of the altar. A number of his work colleagues are there, with some of them wearing their more casual work clothing.
Blanchette was the stagehand who died last week when a gunman opened fire at the Parti Quebecois election victory party.
Civic funerals are usually reserved for public figures as well as police officers slain in the line of duty.
The idea of honouring Blanchette came up last week when the PQ leader, Marois, and outgoing premier Jean Charest met to discuss the transition of power.
The flag at the Quebec legislature is also flying at half-staff.
The man charged in the killing of Blanchette, Richard Henry Bain, faces 16 charges including first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder and arson.
Police are investigating whether the suspect might have been trying to kill Marois. Authorities say it's possible other charges might be added.
Bain next appears in court Oct. 11 to face the charges.
Photo: Canadian Press
Video: Shuyee Lee