École Polytechnique massacre
|École Polytechnique massacre|
Plaque at École Polytechnique commemorating victims of the massacre
|Date||December 6, 1989 |
|Target||Female students at |
|Deaths||15 (including the perpetrator)|
The École Polytechnique massacre (
On December 6, 1989,
Lépine then moved through corridors, the cafeteria, and another classroom, targeting women for just under 20 minutes before turning the gun on himself. It is the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history.
In a search for a rationale since the attack there have been debates over various interpretations of the events, their significance, and Lépine's motives. Many characterize the massacre as an anti-feminist attack representative of wider societal
The incident led to more stringent
Sometime after 4 p.m. on December 6, 1989,
Lépine first sat in the office of the registrar on the second floor for a while. While there, he was seen rummaging through a plastic bag. He did not speak to anyone, even when a staff member asked if she could help him. Lépine left the office and was subsequently seen in other parts of the building before entering a second-floor mechanical engineering class of about sixty students at about 5:10 p.m. After approaching the student giving a presentation, he asked everyone to stop everything and ordered the women and men to opposite sides of the classroom. No one moved at first, believing it to be a joke until he fired a shot into the ceiling.
Lépine then separated the nine women from the approximately fifty men and ordered the men to leave. He asked the remaining women whether they knew why they were there, and when one student replied "no," he answered: "I am fighting feminism." One of the students, Nathalie Provost, said, "Look, we are just women studying engineering, not necessarily feminists ready to march on the streets to shout we are against men, just students intent on leading a normal life." Lépine responded, "You're women, you're going to be engineers. You're all a bunch of feminists. I hate feminists." He then opened fire on the students from left to right, killing six, and wounding three others, including Provost. Before leaving the room, he wrote the word shit twice on a student project.
Lépine continued into the second-floor corridor and wounded three students before entering another room where he twice attempted to shoot a female student. When his weapon failed to fire, he entered the emergency staircase where he was seen reloading his gun. He returned to the room he had just left, but the students had locked the door; Lépine failed to unlock it with three shots fired into the door. Moving along the corridor, he shot at others, wounding one, before moving towards the financial services office where he shot and killed a woman through the window of the door she had just locked.
He next went down to the first-floor cafeteria, in which about a hundred people were gathered. The crowd scattered after he shot a woman standing near the kitchens and wounded another student. Entering an unlocked storage area at the end of the cafeteria, Lépine shot and killed two more women hiding there. He told a male and female student to come out from under a table; they complied and were not shot.
Lépine then walked up an escalator to the third floor where he shot and wounded one female and two male students in the corridor. He entered another classroom and told the three students giving a presentation to "get out," shooting and wounding Maryse Leclair, who was standing on the low platform at the front of the classroom. He fired on students in the front row and then killed two women who were trying to escape the room, while other students dove under their desks. Lépine moved towards some of the female students, wounding three of them and killing another. He changed the
The Quebec and Montreal governments declared three days of mourning. A joint funeral for nine of the women was held at
Marc Lépine's inside jacket pocket contained a
In addition, suicides were later reported among students who had been present at the time of the massacre. At least two students left notes confirming that they committed suicide due to distress caused by the massacre.