The man behind the Quebec City mosque shooting

ACCUSED mass killer Alexandre Bissonnette was teased at school for being "ugly", "pale and skinny" and "dressing like a country boy"and often had his lunch stolen, former classmates say.

The 27-year-old university student from Cap-Rouge is accused of gunning down Muslims, including children, as they prayed at a Quebec mosque on Sunday.

Six men aged between 35 and 65 were killed, five others were critically wounded and 12 escaped with minor injuries after Mr Bissonnette allegedly opened fire in the men's section of the Islamic Cultural Centre.

Police have so far refused to confirm rumours widely reported in Canadian media - aggravated by viral tweet from a fake Reuters account - that Mr Bissonnette was a white supremacist.

‘You’re ugly’, bullies would often tell a teenage Mr Bissonnette, schoolmates said.
‘You’re ugly’, bullies would often tell a teenage Mr Bissonnette, schoolmates said. Facebook

However, friends and details from his social media accounts, including his Facebook page which was deleted overnight - hinted at a love of extreme right wing politics which intensified last March when French nationalist leader Marine LePen visited Quebec City.

"He was very right an (an) ultra nationalist white supremacist," Eric Debroise, who regularly clashed with Mr Bissonnette online, told Le Journal de Quebec.

"He really liked Trump and had a permanent discontent with the left."

'You're ugly', bullies would often tell a teenage Mr Bissonnette, schoolmates said.

Alexandre Bissonnette had only one friend at school — his twin brother Mathieu.
Alexandre Bissonnette had only one friend at school — his twin brother Mathieu. Facebook

Mr Debroise said Bissonnette had recently cut ties with his tiny circle of friends. He told the paper he rang police to tell them what he knew about him.

The accused shooter's family, meanwhile, have expressed fears that he fell under the influence of a mysterious mentor.

Mr Bissonnette was not known to police prior to the shooting and does not have a criminal record. He has been a political science and anthropology student at the Université Laval, the oldest French-speaking university in North America, since 2012.

Mr Bissonnette and his twin brother Mathieu did not integrate with students outside of the chess club they belonged to, former classmates say.
Mr Bissonnette and his twin brother Mathieu did not integrate with students outside of the chess club they belonged to, former classmates say. Facebook

He had recently moved to an apartment just 15 minutes from the mosque but was often seen at his parent's home, according to friends. Both residences are being treated as crime scenes by police.

Former schoolmates painted a sad picture of Mr Bissonnette's early life, describing him as an "unpopular nerd" who was frequently bullied.

He and his twin brother Mathieu were inseparable and didn't integrate with students outside the chess club they belonged to.

"Apart from his twin brother, I did not see him with other people," Mikael Labrecque Berger told the Globe and Mail.

The accused Quebec mass killer was relentlessly bullied at school, according to reportsSource:Facebook
The accused Quebec mass killer was relentlessly bullied at school, according to reportsSource:Facebook Facebook

Another former schoolmate, Toma Popescu, recalled bigger kids teasing Mr Bissonnette for his unfashionable clothing and pale, skinny appearance.

"He dressed like a country boy," Mr. Popescu told the Mail, adding that the bullies would demand his pocket money and his lunch and often "roughed him up".

Mr Berger said Mr Bissonnette responded to being targeted with a curious bravado.

"He never seemed to take it like personally," he said. "He had an almost happy attitude about it.

"Someone [would] tell him, 'You're ugly,' and he would say, 'You too are ugly.'"

Before it was removed, Mr. Bissonnette's Facebook page revealed normal preoccupations of young adulthood.

While he "liked" the page of Ms. Le Pen and other right-wing politicians, he also liked Garfield and pop stars such as Katy Perry.

On Halloween, he posted a picture of himself dressed as the ghoul from the Scream horror-movie franchise.

"Nothing original but it's a classic," he wrote.

He also posted a photo of himself as a child wearing what appeared to be a cadet uniform several years ago. A spokesman for the Canadian Forces has confirmed that Mr. Bissonnette had participated in the cadet program from 2002 to 2004 in the Quebec City area.

Jean-Michel Allard-Prus, who was in Mr Bissonnette's political science class at Université Laval and has kept in touch with him, told Le Journal de Quebec he, "has right-wing political ideas, pro-Israel, anti-immigration. I had many debates with him about Trump. He was obviously pro-Trump."

Mr Bissonnette is expected to appear in court later today charged with six counts of murder and related offences.

News Corp Australia

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