CANADA - 21 years ago today (December 6th 1989) 14 women were shot dead by 25-year-old gunman Marc Lépine. He was carrying a Sturm, Ruger Mini-14 rifle (he bought it legally 15 days earlier) and a hunting knife. He shot 28 people before he killed himself.
Marc Lépine arrived began shortly after 4 PM in the afternoon at the École Polytechnique, an engineering school affiliated with the Université de Montréal. At first he went to the registrar and sat there for a time, rummaging in a plastic bag. He later left and went to the 2nd floor mechanical engineering class of about sixty students at approx. 5:10 PM. He walked up to the student presenting and asked everyone to stop everything, ordering the men and women to opposite sides of the room. When nobody moved at first he fired a shot into the ceiling.
With 9 women on one side and 50 men on the other, Marc Lépine ordered the men to leave. In French he asked the women if they knew why they were there.
"Non," the women replied.
"I am fighting feminism," Marc Lépine 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," said one of the students, Nathalie Provost.
"You're women, you're going to be engineers. You're all a bunch of feminists. I hate feminists," Marc Lépine said.
Marc Lépine then opened fire, shooting each woman once. He started from the left and went to right. 6 of the women died from their wounds. 3 were wounded and survived.
He then stopped and wrote sh** twice on a student's project.
Marc Lépine then went into the 2nd floor corridor where he shot and wounded 3 more students. At one point he stopped in the staircase and reloaded.
He then went back towards the room with the 3 injured women, but they had locked the door. He shot at the door 3 times but it stayed locked.
Marc Lépine then went along the corridor, shooting at more people and wounded another. He stopped at the financial services office where he shot through the window of the locked door and killed a woman within.
He next downstairs to the 1st floor cafeteria. He shot a woman near the kitchen and wounded another student. People were fleeing in all directions.
He entered a storage room where two women were hiding. He shot and killed them both.
He told two students, male and female, to come out from under a table. He let them go.
Marc Lépine went to the escalator that goes to the 3rd floor. He shot and wounded another woman and shot 2 male students as well.
Lépine then walked up an escalator to the 3rd floor where he shot and wounded one
On the 3rd floor he entered a classroom and told 3 students to "get out". He shot and wounded Maryse Leclair. He fired at students in the front row. He shot and killed two more women who tried to escape out the door.
He moved towards a group of women, wounded three and killing a 4th.
Maryse Leclair was crying for help. Marc Lépine took out his hunting knife and stabbed her three times, killing her.
He then took off his hat, wrapped his coat around his rifle, said "Oh sh**!" and then shot himself in the head with his rifle.
The attack had lasted 20 minutes.
Approx. 60 bullets remained in the boxes he was carrying with him. He had killed 14 women (13 students and 1 employee) and injured 14 other people, including 4 men.
Why? Because Marc Lépine hated feminists and he blamed feminists for ruining his life. His suicide letters contained a list of nineteen Quebec women whom Lépine wished to kill because he considered them to be feminists.
Lépine's father was an abusive woman-hater and later became a deadbeat dad. His parents later separated and his mother had to work constantly to pay for her children. Marc Lépine tried to join the Canadian Army in 1980-81, but was rejected according to his suicide letter because he was "anti-social". According to a police biography released Marc Lépine was intelligent but troubled, and hated feminists, career women and women in traditionally male occupations, such as women in the police force.
Lépine applied to the École Polytechnique in 1986 and in 1989 but lacked two courses required for admission. He completed 1 course in the winter of 1989, 9 months before the massacre. He could have taken the other course needed to get into the program and eventually succeeded in his career goals.
But instead he got frustrated and decided to take his frustration out on women.
The Montreal Massacre was the largest attack in Canada specifically aimed at women. The day (December 6th) is now commemorated as a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
The incident led to stronger gun control laws in Canada and introduced tactical changes in police response to shootings, something which benefited the police response to other shootings. (See Killer Goth in Montreal.)