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Murder at Dawson College
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As you have already seen in Sirhcbre's article, there was a shooting this afternoon (September 13) at Dawson College in Montreal. The latest news seems to indicate that a 25 year old lone gunman walked into Dawson College at 12:41 this afternoon and opened fire on the students there.
The police responded quickly and "terminated" him, but not before he shot at least 20 students, with one young woman dead as of this time (5 AM EDT), and 19 other students wounded, six of them in critical condition and requiring surgery.
During the initial period right after the shootings, panic and confusion reigned. The cellular telephone networks became overloaded and failed. The police and media were giving wildly varying reports, some indicating that there were three gunmen, 2 of whom had been shot dead, and one other who escaped. There were reports of as many as four students killed. The media confusion was eerily similar to the early reporting of the 9/11 attacks, but on a much smaller scale. After a while, the information became much more accurate.
When I first noticed the news of the shootings at about 4 PM while browsing the web at the CBC website (www.cbc.ca/news/), I was in complete shock, since I am a former Dawson College student from 1986 and 1987 myself.
I knew I had to try to get downtown to see what pictures I could take, but the radio reports were all mentioning total gridlock in the downtown core as a result of the many police roadblocks.
Since I could not go downtown right away, I stayed at home with my kids and watched the news unfolding on a live CBC News web feed. When the time came to pick up my wife from work, I went and got her, then dropped her off at a friend's place on Decarie (she had been invited for supper), and then I went downtown. I came in from the north and drove down Saint-Mathieu Street, from where I could see the initial ring of roadblocks (blue circles with "A" in them on the map). I have only noted the roadblocks that I saw with my own eyes, as I have no clue exactly where the western perimeter was.
To give you an idea of how seriously the police were taking the situation, my friend Robert stepped out of his apartment building (orange "E") and was immediately forced at gunpoint to go back inside.
I parked my car on de Maisonneuve near the corner of Pierce Street and started walking towards the scene of the shooting. Along the way, I saw a number of posters put up by my fellow students at Concordia University that directed the Dawson College students to go to Concordia as a refuge.
By the time I reached the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Fort Streets, it was like I was walking through a ghost town. I had never seen so many empty parking spots on Sainte-Catherine during the day before.
I continued down the street towards Atwater (the yellow street running vertically on the left side of the map). I turned up Atwater and was stopped by police cordon tape strung across the street between the Forum (on the right) and Plaza Alexis Nihon (a mall). This was roadblock "B" On the left side of the picture, you can see Dawson College, behind the trees. In the distance, you can see roadblock "D" on Sherbrooke Street (I screwed up and made it a green "C" by mistake). In front of that, you can see a Surete du Quebec armored vehicle at the corner of de Maisonneuve.
Since I could not go any further, I went to the entrance to the Atwater Metro in Cabot Square (orange "F") and found it closed, with a security guard from Plaza Alexis Nihon inside the gated entrance to the tunnel connecting Cabot Square to the plaza.
I spoke to the guard for a bit, and found that the poor guy was on duty when the shootings occurred. He described a scene of pandemonium, with he and his partners running all over the place ensuring the safety of the panicked people in the mall, and some of the wounded from the shootings had sought refuge in there as well. I was especially amazed to hear that one of the victims was calmly having a cigarette and seemed rather nonchalant about having just taken a bullet in the leg.
While we were chatting (he seemed to welcome the chance to have a conversation about something other than "Is the metro closed?"), the CBC News crew had set up a tent in the middle of Atwater Street, complete with spotlights.
After 30 minutes or an hour, the police were reopening a number of roads, but the CBC crew was in the way, so they came and told them to move.
The police wait around to make sure the CBC crew moves quickly.
The CBC crew simply moved to a point in front of the island dividing the street, where traffic could flow around them. I moved on towards roadblock "C" (the red one), at the corner of de Maisonneuve and Atwater.
Police representatives give statements to the media while standing by the NW corner of the Forum. By this point, the police were letting some employees of the stores back into the mall to return and close off their paperwork for the day.
Looking west down de Maisonneuve from Atwater, I see a wheelchair and an office chair that have been abandoned in the street. A sweater belonging to one of the victims still sits in the chair.
There is more to tell, but my mind is growing too tired.
This article has been viewed 41597 times in the last 9 years
EvilGentleman: 14th Sep 2006 - 11:18 GMT
The killer was a man named Kimveer Gill. I don't know how long his jornal will stay online, but here it is vampirefreaks.com/journal.php?u=fatality666. One really sick in the fucking head freak bastard.
EvilGentleman: 14th Sep 2006 - 13:32 GMT
Judging from the photo on the front page of today's paper, I would guess that it is possible the sweater on the chair belongs to a girl named Lisa.
Here are some photos of the killer that are currently being credited to Canadian Press, but I suspect they were swiped from Gill's profile on vampirefreaks.com
EvilGentleman: 14th Sep 2006 - 14:23 GMT
Rest in pieces, you worthless shit. The girl, Anastasia DeSousa, was only 18 years old, and now she's gone forever, a permanent hole in the hearts and souls of the DeSousa family. Who the fuck kills people so young for no reason?
I spoke to a number of witnesses to this act of senseless pain and terror, and I will never forget the fear I saw in many of their eyes, fear that has no business being there. The only way to fight this type of personal terrorism is to render it meaningless. The rest of us will go on to have meaningful lives.
The name of Anastasia DeSousa will most likely be attributed to something of great beauty connected to Dawson College, and will live forever. The name of Kimveer Gill will be forever associated with pain and nothingness, even by his own family.
My fullest condolences from the deepest reaches of my heart go out to:
EvilGentleman: 14th Sep 2006 - 19:38 GMT
grange - Here's a Google cache of the sick fuck's profile.
EvilGentleman: 14th Sep 2006 - 20:49 GMT
The murder weapon, as posted on the weirdo's profile:
He described it as a "CX4 Storm Semi-Automatic Carbine"
Damn, this is so freaky, peeking into the mind of a sociopathic murderer. I feel ill. The curiosity as to what makes these weirdos tick, why did he snap, etc causes me to find this fascinating, but to actually see him proudly display what he was probably already planning to be murder weapons, it just sends chills down my spine.
Some of the staff at Dawson today were probably teaching back in 1986/87, when I was a student there, although that was back in the days of Selby, Viger and Richelieu campuses, before the convent on Atwater was purchased. I just freak to think of my old teachers being terrorized by a nutjob with murder on his mind.
As I browse through the psychotic journals that he left behind, I notice the depression that seems to pervade his soul. This confuses me, since I always thought that Goths were just an offshoot of Punks, and the Punk-rockers I knew from my days at Dawson were very happy people.
I remember the first day of class at Dawson in September of 1986. I see this guy come rolling into class on a skateboard with neon green hair and a T-shirt that has a picture of Fred Flintstone on it with the caption "Yabba-dabba-fuck you" on it. I thought for sure that he was a psychopath, but when we went out for a smoke, it turned out that Jim (that was his name) was a very pleasant, positive and extremely intelligent person. In fact, it soon became clear that Jim was the smartest guy in class. He and I became friends, and hung out a lot at different places around the city. I was a metalhead in those days, and the punk world was so alien to me, but the people were accepting and cool.
Flash back to today. I know some goth-types who are in their mid 20's to early 30's, and most of those I know are decent, caring people, although perhaps a bit too preoccupied with the morbid at times. This Kimveer Gill, he's a different species altogether, totally messed up in the head.
All we can do is teach our children to be free to express their feelings to us, and above all, to have respect for everyone and everything.
Sirhcbre: 14th Sep 2006 - 20:57 GMT
Keep in mind that there's a big difference between what the media portrays as "goth" and the real meaning of a person who is a member of the goth subculture.
This kid is just your typical suburban kid with too much angst built up. Difference is, this kid had a lot of angst and depression and sadly acted upon it in a terrible way.
jack: 15th Sep 2006 - 13:58 GMT
i want to go back to, 'leave it to beaver days'. think about this, in the 60's or 70's we proclaimed God was dead, women burned their bras, abortion started, and liberalism became the new god of our country. terrorists made their first attack in the nation in '93' at the wtc and clinton chased after the girls. you got a divorse because, 'he/she doesn't understand me and i can't do my own thing'. somewhere in this great country of ours there must be a place where you can live in peace. where children are cared for and paid attention to. i'm not giving up on our country, i'm just waiting for a day when we ask God to help us.
Sirhcbre: 15th Sep 2006 - 16:50 GMT
I find it's best not to rely on nostalgia, it tends to be deceptive whereas it likes to leave out many of the bad parts of the past and glorify the good. Before God was declared dead ect, etc North America was caught in a very stifling time. Women were relegated to the new suburban home and expected to be baby and supper machines, they were dying in back allys with sewing needles jamed up in them because they had nowhere to get a safe abortion, minorities were as opressed as ever, and our inner cities were being highwayed and deserted (by whites) into a horrible state of decay and destruction. There was still violent crime, just not in the new suburbs that were nicely white and clean. All this among other very nasty things happening at the time.
We now live in the year 2006, are things better? Not really but they're different. People live in social isolation in the suburbs being diagnosed (and heavily medicated) with mental problems created by pharmaceutical companies, the gap between the rich and the poor is higher than it has been in nearly a century, we're looking straight into the eyes of a global ecological collapse, and we've moved our good paying manufacturing jobs (after decades of fighting for fair wages) to the third world so we can opress workers in order to buy $8.94 toilet seats at Wal-Mart, again, all this among other nasty things that are happening.
Do I think God is going to help us? He hasn't been making great strives to help us in the past and doesn't seem to be doing a whole lot for us right now. Maybe we need to start asking if we, as a society, can help ourselves.
EvilGentleman: 15th Sep 2006 - 17:16 GMT
Wal-Mart sells toilet seats for $8.94? Wow, what a bargain! My hardware store charges $12.99
EvilGentleman: 15th Sep 2006 - 17:24 GMT
Sorry about the previous comment, but when you are my size, new toilet seats are pretty standard shopping items.
stevo: 15th Sep 2006 - 18:17 GMT
Why do these nutjobs always go after intelligent, good people that contribute
EvilGentleman: 15th Sep 2006 - 18:41 GMT
It sometimes seems that way, stevo. But some of these nutjobs target prostitutes, customers at fast food franchises, hitchhikers, truck drivers, members of churches, mosques or synagogues, postal workers, etc. Nobody is truly safe.
EvilGentleman: 18th Sep 2006 - 23:25 GMT
I just joined VampireFreaks.com last night. So far, I must say, everyone I have had contact with has either very friendly or indifferent. Not a very hostile website, if you ask me. They seem very welcoming to people like myself, who are not even part of their scene. I have to say, that earns a lot of respect in my books.
The_Silent_One: 19th Sep 2006 - 07:28 GMT
im a member of vampirefreaks.com and have been for sometime now,
xcryingXbloodXtearsx: 19th Sep 2006 - 09:00 GMT
I'm a member of vampirefreaks and all the people i have talked to have been friendly and when i first joined were very welcoming. its like a big open minded family who rescpect and accept peoples ideas, probably more than their own family and friends do."Goths" are evil people who are out to kill so i hope the people who read this don't assume that we are all like that sick psyco bitch.
Type-o: 19th Sep 2006 - 11:26 GMT
to the person above me you say ."Goths" are evil people
i agree with The Silent One
im also a member of vampirefreaks and the are very welcoming
Ashtroth666: 19th Sep 2006 - 11:29 GMT
yeah im a member of vampirefreaks,and i see no harm in what the site does.
d00d: 19th Sep 2006 - 11:56 GMT
to blame something like this on a website is just ridiculous. i'm also a member of vampirefreaks, because i like surrounding myself with open-minded people, and i'm not a goth. vampirefreaks is a community-based website, and you can't even say it's for "like-minded individuals" because most people on there differ like day and night. and like with ANY community you will get the odd weirdo inbetween. the same goes for so-called "christian" communities. and because their numbers are much higher, those communities will actually contain more weirdos than the "goth" community. they might as well launch an investigation against myspace and msn spaces as well then, because many people on vampirefreaks have profiles on there as well!
EvilGentleman: 19th Sep 2006 - 12:43 GMT
I must agree with some of this quite heavily. To repeat a comment I posted on VampireFreaks, my opinion about the human race, regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, subculture, style of dress, or social "class" is as follows:
Out of the decent ones, you have your extreme helping and kind people like Gandhi. This is a tiny portion, but logically, there will be random Christians, Goths, Japanese, Mohawks, neo-Nazis, Palestinians, Israelis, etc who are also of the same caliber.
Kimveer Gill is the polar opposite of the above mentioned people. It can locically be assumed that a similarly tiny portion of every group will be like him as well, unfortunate though that is.
Robin Majumdar: 20th Sep 2006 - 01:46 GMT
Great write-up and nice to include the photos as part of the story. I went to Dawson on Saturday with my 3 and 5 year old boys, who placed a small African Violet flowerpot at the entrance.
Today is the day to remember Anastasia. Please take a moment to join everyone at www.AnastasiaDeSousa.org and share memories or tributes to her. It's not a profit or media or political site. Simply a way to remember her.
angel_fish: 24th Sep 2006 - 16:46 GMT
I can understand why people who have no previous knowledge of vampire freaks are concerned, and if I didnít belong to the site and know as many truly intelligent and compassionate people from it as I do, I think Iíd have probably been taken in by the mediaís, extreme, but with what I know, overblown and completely unsubstantiated press too.
Some religious fanatics, for example, kill because they say it was revealed to them in religious text or as a vision from their God; however as, a, usually hmm, rational society, we do not say there should be a blanket ban on the bible, or other holy texts; we know that these people are suffering from some form of mental illness or distortion, or other social factors and may be in need of psychological or medical help.
I think we need to take in to account other social factors, like upbringing, our closed minded society, affects of bullying, and misdiagnosis of mental illness, as possible reasons towards violent acts of crime later in life. Just as we would not enforce a blanket ban on religious text I donít think it is right to ban websites either. The majority of people on vf and other sites use them responsibly and find it incredibly helpful to meet like minded people and to express their feelings. I along with so many other members of vf and gothic/alternative communities, are saddened and shocked by what has happened, and appose and in no way want to be affiliated with similar sorts of behaviour. I think itís important that issues in our society are addressed, the illegal war launched by bush and blair and our cruel foreign policy, are other contributors to violent crime, and are also causing the loss of many innocent lives in Iraq. However that Ďs off the point lol, but I just think there are more pressing mainstream issues that need to be addressed right now, as apposed to placing blame on websites.
EvilGentleman: 15th Oct 2006 - 03:31 GMT
That's a natural feeling. I just discovered last night that a friend of mine who attends Concordia who I had lost contact with had gotten herself a job at Dawson. She was there when it happened. She did not get hurt, but she is still messed up, and a nervous wreck.
Kristina: 22nd Jan 2007 - 22:46 GMT
I'm from a school that shall remain nameless. I was looking around for good stories and i found this... It hit me... i got it now! ^.^ yay
loraine: 21st Jun 2007 - 16:07 GMT
it's completey rediculous to blame it on vampirefreaks.com
and everyone on there is lovely
RavenPandorah: 28th Oct 2007 - 06:44 GMT
I happen to be a very active member of Vampirefreaks.com and we the members of Vampirefreaks.com are not like that. We are like everyone else prety much and to read that this kid did this and My site getting blamed for it is pathetic. Just because we are gothic doesnt mean we are evil so whomever said that needs to get their head out of the hole they live in. But we shouldn't be the blame for what that kid did. I been searching and reading these articles and found alot of things people say about us on Vampirefreaks.com and I am not happy about it.
EvilGentleman: 8th Dec 2007 - 23:56 GMT
I still come back and look over this article every once in a while. This time, I followed a link on Wikipedia leading here.
The memories have begun to fade, yet that last shot, the one of the wheelchair and the office chair sitting abandoned in the street, the blood-stained sweater soaked by the rain, remains burned in my memory forever.
It was such a surrealistic feeling, to sit and stare at the detritus of a school shooting, while traffic rushes by all around.
I walked by there again the other day, and the memories I have of the intersection of Atwater and de Maisonneuve are so varied.
Walking out of the Alexis Nihon Shopping Center one summer day in 1973, holding my mother's hand as we crossed the street. The colours seemed so vivid back then.
Passing on the other side of the street to enter the Metro with my father in 1976, banners with the olympic logo fluttering from all the street poles. That day, my father explained to me exactly how the Metro were engineered, how the stations were usually a bit higher than the tunnels, so gravity could help the trains slow down when entering a station, and accelerate when departing.
Wandering around in 1984, now a teenager, I pass the Forum and enter the Mall and head straight for the MetRock shop on the Metro level of Alexis Nihon, where I buy an AC/DC blacklight poster and some Iron Maiden lapel pins.
Coming out of the Forum after an AC/DC concert in 1986, I dodge all the drug dealers who are yelling "Hash, grass, coke, cents-a-million!" at all the passers-by. I'm still blissful after the show, even though my thoughts are focused on my clases at Dawson.
In a sour mood one day in 1994 or so, I pass Ron Tugnutt, at that time the backup goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens, who had just played a terrible game the night before. I mutter an insult at him as I walk by, and he finally loses it and wants to fight with me. He tells me I have no idea how hard it is to be an NHL goaltender, and asks if I could do any better. I think about it for a moment, then concede that he is right, and I apologize. He later goes on to be a star goalie for the Ottawa Senators.
That day in 2006 when the atmosphere was full of tension, and everything takes on a sureal quality.
Last week, the snow is piled up along the sides of the street, a homeless man struggles to get his shopping cart full of his life's possessions through the deep salty slush, and life goes on, the bustle of the city once again back where it belongs.
Every place I know well is like this for me. The past speaks loudly wherever I go, and mingles with the present to create an atmosphere of nostlgia.
Man, I must be getting old :-S
Laughing: 13th Aug 2009 - 01:25 GMT
Goths are far more likely to be suicidal than homicidal. But how many goth suicides have you heard of?
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Pictures from Half a Lifetime Ago...
from the archives
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Murder at Dawson College
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