A 25-year-old man who mounted a deadly shooting rampage at a Montreal college had posted pictures of himself on the Internet with a rifle and said he was feeling “crazy” and “postal” and was drinking whiskey hours before the attack.
The man also said on a blog that he liked to play a role-playing Internet game about the Columbine High School shootings in Colorado and wanted to die “in a hail of gunfire.”
In the end, the attacker — dressed in a black trench coat like the Columbine shooters — put his own gun to his head and pulled the trigger during a shootout with officers at Dawson College on Wednesday, police said.
By that time, he had already wounded 20 other people — one of whom, an 18-year-old woman, later died. Four shooting victims remained in critical condition Thursday, including three in extremely critical condition and one in a deep coma.
The gunman, who arrived at the downtown college armed with a rapid-fire rifle and two other weapons, was identified by police as Kimveer Gill of Laval, near Montreal.
The Internet postings and a neighbor’s description reveal an angry, solitary young man who lived with his mother, sported a mohawk, dressed in black and was filled with hatred for everyone from jocks to preppies and everything from country music to hip-hop. He once worked for a carpet company and more recently an auto parts business.
“Work sucks ... school sucks ... life sucks ... what else can I say? ... Life is a video game you’ve got to die sometime,” he wrote in his profile for a Web site called vampirefreaks.com.
Authorities searched Gill’s home Wednesday evening and seized his computer and other belongings.
“I don’t know what they found in the computer,” said a woman who answered the phone at Gill’s home and said she was his mother. “They took everything.”
She described her son as “a good man.”
“Just ask anybody. Ask the neighbors. He was a good son,” the woman told The Associated Press. She refused to give her name.
A neighbor across the street said he was a loner. “There were never any friends,” Louise Leykauf said. “He kept to himself. He always wore dark clothing.”
Another neighbor, Mariola Trutschnigg, said she noticed a changed in his appearance in recent months when he “started wearing a mohawk and black clothes.”
In postings on vampirefreaks.com, blogs in Gill’s name show more than 50 photos depicting the young man in various poses holding a rifle or a knife and wearing a black trench coat and combat boots.
One photo has a tombstone bearing his name and the epitaph: “Lived fast died young. Left a mangled corpse.”
‘Whiskey in the morning’
The last of six journal entries Wednesday was posted at 10:41 a.m, about two hours before Gill died at Dawson.
He said on the site that he felt “crazy” and was drinking whiskey that morning and described his mood as “postal” the night before.
“Whiskey in the morning, mmmmmm, mmmmmmmmm, good !! :),” he wrote.
“His name is Trench. you will come to know him as the Angel of Death,” Gill wrote at another point on his vampirefreaks.com profile. “He is not a people person. He has met a handful of people in his life who are decent. But he finds the vast majority to be worthless, no good, conniving, betraying, lying, deceptive.”
This inscription is below a picture of Gill aiming a gun at the camera: “I think I have an obsession with guns ... muahahaha.”
“Anger and hatred simmers within me,” said another caption below a picture of Gill grimacing.
He wrote that he is 6-foot-1, was born in Montreal and is of Indian heritage. It was unclear whether he meant east Indian or American Indian, but Gill is a common name in India.
He said his weakness is laziness and that he fears nothing. Responding to the question, “How do you want to die?” Gill replied “like Romeo and Juliet — or in a hail of gunfire.”
A fan of Marilyn Manson
Gill repeatedly said on his blogs that he loved black trench coats. He wore a black trench coat during the shooting and opened fire in the cafeteria just as Columbine students Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris did in the 1999 Colorado school shooting.
He also maintained an online blog, similar to Klebold and Harris, devoted to Goth culture, heavy metal music such as Marilyn Manson, guns and journal entries expressing hatred against authority figures and “society.”
He said he liked to play “Super Columbine Massacre,” an Internet-based computer game that simulates the April 20, 1999, shootings at the Colorado high school when Klebold and Harris killed 13 people and then themselves.
Gill complained that a video shooting game, “Postal 2,” was too childish. He wanted one that allowed him to kill more and go “beserk.”
“I want them to make a game so realistic, that it looks and feels like it’s actually happening,” he wrote in his blog.
Danny Ledonne, the creator of “Super Columbine Massacre,” posted a message of sympathy on his site.
“I am, like most, saddened by the news of the recent shooting at Dawson College. I extend my condolences to those affected by this painful event,” Ledonne wrote.
A 23-year-old man and a 12-year-old girl accused in a triple murder in Medicine Hat, Alberta, earlier this year also had profiles on vampirefreaks.com.
Shift in police policy
Montreal Police Chief Yvan Delorme said the lessons learned from other mass shootings had taught police to try to stop such assaults as quickly as possible.
“Before our technique was to establish a perimeter around the place and wait for the SWAT team. Now the first police officers go right inside. The way they acted saved lives,” he said.
Delorme said some officers were at the school on an unrelated matter when the shooting began and reinforcements were sent in.
Witnesses said Gill started shooting outside the college, then entered the second-floor cafeteria and opened fire without uttering a word. Anastasia DeSousa, 18, of Montreal was killed.
Police initially said Gill shot himself but later Wednesday they said they thought officers killed Gill during an exchange of fire. On Thursday, Francois Dore of the Quebec provincial police said “preliminary results of the autopsy showed that he died of self-inflected wounds.” Dore said police shot Gill in the arm before he turned his gun on himself.
Echoes of Montreal 1989
Canada’s worst mass shooting took place in Montreal when gunman Marc Lepine, 25, killed 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnic on Dec. 6, 1989, before shooting himself.
That shooting spurred efforts for new gun laws achieved mainly as the results of efforts by survivors and relatives of Lepine’s victims.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said it was too early to begin questioning how tougher gun control laws might have averted Wednesday’s rampage, but that current laws clearly did not work. “The laws we have didn’t prevent this tragedy, which is why our government will be in the future — because of this incident and many others — looking to make our laws more effective,” Harper said.
Canadian laws prohibit the possession of unregistered handguns, and the rules for ownership of registered guns are stringent. Many politicians and police contend illegal guns flowing across the U.S.-Canada border are behind a recent spike in firearm violence.