Police Seeking Motive In Montreal College Shooting

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A woman is evacuated during a shooting incident at Dawson College in Montreal, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2006.

Maxime LeBleu was nibbling on a lunch of Japanese rice and vegetables with classmate Eugene Lu outside Dawson College's downtown Montreal campus yesterday, when the pair heard an odd rapid staccato popping.

"It sounded like firecrackers," said LeBleu, 23. "Then I saw people running. The whole time, I was thinking 'stay calm.'"

Lu turned to see a tall, black trenchcoat-clad man with slicked-back hair and heavy black boots about 40 feet away.

"His face was calm and expressionless," said Lu, 34. "He was looking forwardat the school and walking slowly."

Lu sat frozen long enough to notice the man carried a one-and-a-half-foot machine gun while moving along a low brick wall that led to the college's main entrance. Lu and LeBleu abandoned their lunch and sped away. Lu dialled 911 at exactly 12:45.

Panic descended on the sprawling campus, which serves 10,000 students, as the gunman randomly shot at students near the entrance atrium and the adjoining cafeteria.

The lunch-hour shooting spree at Dawson left one woman dead and 20 wounded before police officers fatally shot 25-year-old gunman Kimveer Gill, of Fabreville, north of Montreal. Anastasia Desousa, 18, of Montreal, was pronounced dead at the scene, although police would not confirm her identity. Police said Gill's car was found parked near Dawson. Investigators have ruled out terrorism and racial or gender targeting, and are searching for a motive in what seems to be developing into Canada's Columbine shooting.

"It was over in 30 minutes," said Quebec Provincial Police spokesman Jayson Gauthier.

Paramedics transported the wounded to three downtown hospitals. " They are all young adults, in their early twenties," said Dr. Franoise Chagnon, director of professional services at the Montreal General Hospital. "All of them are alive." But six remain in critical condition, two in very critical condition.

The question of 'why' loomed largely among the hundreds of students who fled the shooting yesterday. But Gill's blog paints a chilling portrait of a violent young man, harkening images of the teen killers who gunned down their 12 classmates and wounded 27 others and killing themselves at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999.

Gill's profile on the eerie web site VampireFreaks.com displayed 50 photos of himself brandishing a machine gun and signing off as the "Angel of Death." On that site, Gill claims that his favorite video game was the home-made Super Columbine Massacre, the Canadian Press reported. The last of his six journal entries was posted at 10:41 a.m. Wednesday, precisely two hours before the first 911 call reporting an armed man at Dawson was made, according to CP reports.

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