Dawson College shooting occurred on September 13, 2006 at Dawson College located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was reported that the shooter was Kimveer Gill and he shot a total of nineteen people. Out of a total of nineteen people, one person died whereas others were injured. Out of the injuries, a total of eight students were critical and six of the people required surgery. Subsequent to the shootings, the shooter shot him in the head and committed suicide. It was reported that the gunman also had a bullet in the arm which was due to the police when the person was shot. (CBS) The victims that were hurt were treated at the Montreal General Hospital when the shooting occurred.
Pathway to Violence explained.
Before we get in the details of how the shooting unfolded, it is crucial to explain the path to violence as presented by Calhoun and Weston in 2003. The pathway itself is full of a number of steps that eventually lead to the violent attack. Just as anything, attacking a school or any attack for instance would require some sort of planning. Calhoun and Weston stated that the first step in this pathway was Grievance. This means the person who will go on to commit the attack or the killing in this instance would not be living a happy and a satisfied life. There would be a problem or a grieved in their life that is either disturbing them subconsciously or consciously.
The second step in the pathway was ideation. Ideation is basically the creative procedure of making up, developing and delivering new ideas. A person that undergoes ideation a lot would be constantly thinking and planning in his or head. There would be constant need for that person to keep on developing new ideas and then trying to put them into action. This ideation can either be a positive or negative one. Thus, it should be noted that in this instance ideation is thought to be linked to negative thoughts. The shooter in this case, Gill, would have been constantly involved in thinking a planning and thus would not have a normal healthy life like another college students. Someone with aboriginal forms of ideation show certain characteristics which will be discussed in correlation to Gill below.
After an idea has been developed in a person’s head or they turn out to be fond of that idea, that person would go on to research it and plan it out. Generally speaking, if a depressed person in thought, the ideas that they would have would not be positive ones. Thus, depression leading to ill thoughts and if a person is really determined to cause some sort of damage. The research and preparation would therefore be linked to the killings or the violence that the twisted person would later cause.
Subsequent to research and planning, the person who is committing the crime has to prepare for his attack. Preparing for the attack could mean different things. This could mean that the person has to prepare himself psychologically. Regardless of how disturbed the person is, it is not an easy task to kill or injure people. The person might have to do a second check on his research and thus actually be aware that he or she would be satisfied after the killings. Apart from that, preparations would include like making a plan of invasion. With the degree of security and defense that is present all around, there needs to be a proper plan of action of entering the place wherever the violent act is supposed to take place. A major thing that is needed to be prepped is the weapons and ammunition that would be taken with. The case that we are discussing, Gill had a lot of guns and ammunition with him. Such was the load of the ammunition that he had to make a hostage carry it to the building. This could require strategic planning so that he would not be suspected of planning an attack and thus getting caught. Normally, if someone is to make a big shooting in a place with a lot of ammunition, they would need to start planning and preparing way before the attack is suppose to happen.
The second last step in the pathway to violence was the breach. It has been said that most of the school or college shootings, the person enters the place quite easily. Since in educational institutions, it is mandatory to do a security check on the people entering. This becomes even more confusing if the person entering is a student of that college. Thus, the invasion process and the entrance is another issue. When all of these steps have occurred, the person goes on to carry out the attack and thus the pathway to violence comes to an end. Since now the steps to violence have been covered, it would be interesting to note how this model fits to the shooting that occurred in Dawson College.
What actually happened?
Around 12-30 pm in the afternoon, Gill had parked his car on de Maisonneuve Boulevard near the campus of the college. The people standing there saw that the youngster was taking out weapons from his car. It was at this moment that Gill took charge of a person passing by; that the sources reported was a lawyer. Gill took him hostage and started walking towards the campus. It was surely very courageous of Gill to open fire at the students sitting outside the steps of the college. This should quite a high degree of rebel in the youngster and that he was pretty determined to cause damage in the school. He shot with Beretta Cx4 Storm semi-automatic carbine. It was reported that as soon as he shot the people, the lawyer he had held hostage ran by and went to go hide Gill’s bag. (LCN)
Following that, Gill then entered the school and went on towards the cafeteria. The cafeteria in the college campus was located near the entrance of the college and therefore it was easy access as soon as anyone entered the college. Gill positioned himself in the corner of the building right where the microwave oven was and then started firing at all the people in front of him. It was reported that Gill started the fire after setting his bag on the floor and then loading his guns. Even though Gill had planned the shooting from before, it didn’t occur to him to load the guns before.
The first round of shots that he started was aimed at the people directly in front of him. He shot the people with a pistol and then raised it up in the air. It was at that time that everyone was aware of the shooter in the room. As soon as Gill raised his weapon up in the air, he told the students there to lie down and not go out of the room. Gill, inflicted by a lot of internal rage and anger kept on shooting at the students lying on the ground. It was a good luck that at that time there were police officers in the building. Three police offers were present in the building duet to some other incident and after they heard gun shots, they rushed to the cafeteria. Despite security officers being present there, the shooter had still managed to shoot a lot of students. By that time, a lot of officers had also completely surrounded the area. When Gill was confronted by the police offers in the cafeteria that is he when he took two more people hostage.
The police offers couldn’t just stand there and see innocent students get killed. Officer Denis Cote shot Gill in his arm and that is when Gill shot himself in the head and committed suicide. Even though the police tried to resuscitate him, the attempts failed. The police were forced to take his body outside and then start the search operation for another shooter. The prospect of a hidden shooter or a second shooter makes the scenario all the more tense. After the autopsy that was performed on Gill’s body, a suicide note was also found on the body. All of these events started at 12:30, and by 1:30 PM, the killers body was being dragged out by the police. Thus the time span of this shooting was no different than the other shootings that have occurred. The shooting happened quickly, police forces came very rapidly and the killer himself was dead within no time.
Even though the shooting happened inside the building, that chaos that incurred over the students later on was horrible. The students that managed to escape were surely traumatized more physically and psychologically. The scene that was created after everyone’s knowledge of the shooter being inside was truly unfortunate. Hundreds of students were running out of the school with their heads covered. Most of the students had blood on their clothes either from wounds to themselves or from anyone in close contact. The people were yelling, crying and screaming for help on their cell phones. A truly unfortunate incident was seen when the some of the people had collapsed on the ground as they were attempting to run. The students did not know that if there was any other shooter around them or near them. The fact that these people didn’t know caused them to be more cautious and panicked at the same time. Some of the students as they fell were being trampled by the rest as they were attempting to flee. (CBS) This led to even more injuries and casualties in the student population of Dawson.
Where many of the students were attempting to make a run for it, most looked into going to the neighboring Concordia University. The students found they were safe in the university and thus wished to evacuate there. At that moment, there were orientation classes going on at Concordia University. The faculty there used their venue to supply the students with shelter. The students were also provided with good, water and a phone to talk to their loved ones about the happening. Surely, at that time, everyone who had a friend or loved one at Dawson would be worried. There is no way of knowing for sure who is damaged or not.
Evacuation was really emphasized not only in the university but also in the surrounding areas. Seeing the determination and bravery of Gill, there was no saying if he had trained someone else as well. Talking about evacuation, two of the shopping centers, Westmount Square and Place Alexis Nihon were evacuated. Also, the metro station and the one of the lines of the city’s train network were also shut down for a decent amount of time. Apart from Concordia University, many of the students chose to hide in the Pepsi Forum entertainment centre. Just after it taken a good amount of students, the forum also went into a lockdown as per demand of the Montreal Police.
Subsequent to the shooting, many of the students were damaged psychologically and emotionally. Therefore, this called for a need of counseling of the students. A coordination team was amalgamated from Dawson and Concordia and turned into a crisis center. The center there had a psychologist and psychiatrist. These experts talked and discussion emotional problems that the students or the staff had to deal with.
Kimveer Singh Gill was born on July 9th 1981 and he was killed in 2006, when he shot himself subsequent to shooting at students of Dawson College. Kiimveer Gill belonged to a Punjabi Indian family who had to migrate to India in 1981. Gill studied at Twin Oaks Elementary School from 1988 to 1993. Following that, Gill was a student at Rosemere High School. At his high school, Kimveer was observed as being quieter than the other students.
According to Gill’s mother, he remained a decent boy to nurture and she did not have any trouble raising him until days leading up to the shooting. (Gazette) Kimveer was a tremendous help around the house and made sure that he was there for his mother. This reflected a rather positive childhood and a more compassionate side of the individual. Out of all the interviews, only the mother gave the interview. Kimveer’s father and his twin brothers did not go for it. His mother went through the certificates that he had showing that her son did not have one negative remark in his childhood and high school career. A former gym teacher of Kimveer did not report of any problems that Gill had. He did however mention that the individual was a silent sort. The media reports and the investigations that started after the Dawson killing described him as a rather academically well student who was never bullied by anyone else. This is rather contradictory of the notion that his profile at vampire freaks revealed. Gill graduated in 1998 and then enrolled in Vanier College. This venture of his was not successful and thus the individual dropped out only a year later.
After dropping out of college, Gill received military school training from Canadian Forces Leadership in Quebec. One prominent reason that Gill gave for dropping out was that he wanted to join in the military.
When talking about the pathway to violence, leakage is in which intent to cause damage to a person or a whole population is delivered to another party. (Meloy and O’Toole, 2011) Normally it could be that the third party is a person, however seeing how the social network is expanding; the third party could be a different party as well. This could mean letters, blogs, journals online or even videos online. Thus the leakage could clearly indicate that the person is disturbed and thus is wishing to show his or her violence in one way or another. Leakage is one sort of a warning behavior and thus leakage can also mean the signaling of some sort of behavior. (Meloy and O’Toole, 2011) As it was seen from Gill’s journal entries, he was disturbed and against the society. Thus, leakage can be deemed analogous to the grievance period combined with the planning period as well. To shed more light on the aspects of leakage, researches were done to reveal what exactly classifies leakage.
Different examples were and the pathway to violence that was discussed earlier was also a form of leakage. In Gill’s case, the leakage could have been the postings that were discovered on vampirefreaks.com. The individual quoted himself as the angle of death and even went to mention that he wanted to die under a hail of bullets. No one is willing to write such descriptive terms on the website and that too explaining such scary desires. Gill went on to write about how bad he feels about the society and people in it. He especially highlighted his hatred towards the place as well. An important thing to note is that Gill’s pictures also depicted violence and the desire to wipe off society. The fact that a lot of his pictures nature. He was either holding one of his weapons and pointing to the camera indicated his malicious. This was depictive of identification warning behavior. (Meloy and O’Toole, 2011) Even though his dressing was gothic and normally he work black, his actions and sentiments differed from the gothic stereotype. They differed because they were quite intense and extreme. (Meloy and O’Toole, 2011) The leakage of Gill’s behavior online goes on to state that the pathway to violence model’s first step was fulfilled in this case. The grievance was portrayed very clearly and it showed that he was disturbed by something.
In one of his entries online, the shooter had written that one of his favorite games was the Super Columbine Massacre. (Buncombe, 2006) This game basically depicted the 1999 shooting that took place in Colorado. The people behind the shootings were Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris and they managed to take the lives of thirteen students in the shooting. His passion with death showed that he considered the two aforementioned people as his heroes and that he was very inspired by the Columbine Killings. Subsequent to the Columbine Killings, it is possible that there was a lot of information about the two killers on the media. Therefore, a possibility could be that he researched their ideals and their plans. This covers the research and planning part of the model that was discussed earlier. Gill could have gone to research the shootings and thus taken pointers from how the media had explained. The game that he used to play could have been practice shooting for what Gill was intending to do. The part of the columbine shooting could have been an amalgamation of the ideation and the research and planning as well. The decision for killing is made when the person is in between or in transition from the ideation phase to the research and planning phase.
In conclusion, it has been seen that Gill was a disturbed individual who hated the society and the people in it. Special emphasis was given to the preps and jocks as it was explained in his journal entries. Surely, no person just goes on and enters a college to kill a person. The pathway to violence clearly shows how a certain grievance can give rise to negative ideas. Gill was subject to grievance which makes him idealize shooters and act in the way that he did. It was upsetting to see that the individual did not attain help when he clearly needed it. Out of all the shootings that have been done by individual sin schools and colleges, depression is a common finding. As responsible citizens and class fellows, it is everyone’s responsibility to look around and see who could be in need of help. There would be individuals who like Gill are being torn internally but would not go for help. A few kind words can go on to save the person and the society as a whole.
When the Montreal police got their hands on some of the online journals that were written by Gill, they kind of got an idea of his motives and the reason why he was so depressed. In one of his journal entries he’s written the unjust practices that are common in today’s world. For instance, he writes how women are raped and children are molested and how people are bullied at school. He makes a comparison of the world with hell and even calls it worse than that. He also writes that the people do not see what he sees. These could be the things that might have caused him to behave aggressively and kill so many people.
Through one of his other journal entries we find out that Gill was against the stereotypical people in the sense that he thought that there was discrimination in the society. He has written how people tend to like and accept the ones who claim their manliness, meanwhile some people of the society have to face discrimination. He also mentions an incident in this journal entry about the 15 years old child who was killed by the police he was carrying a fake gun around. As it is reported on the news that the child said that he feels depressed and wants to commit suicide, Gill writes how such feelings of the child are justified because of the kind of attitude people have in the society.
In one of the other journal entries written by Gill it is indeed very obvious to understand his state of mind. The journal entry that he has written about bullying reveals what he felt about different groups of the society. He blames the teachers and principals for letting bullying take place at their school because they think that it is not their job to prevent this from happening. The he moves on blaming the police that they should arrest the ones who are involved in bullying and later on the corps for being so insensitive. His next target in this particular journal entry was the society in general who does not protest against the injustices that are a part of the world today. This clearly shows why he did not think what he was doing was wrong and why so much anger was instilled in him.
Apart from the journal entries, the police also found a diary that was personally written by Gill. This diary revealed the state of mind and anger in which Gill was. According to a report, after finding this diary, he stated that Gill’s state of mind was quite evident through his writings and one could tell that it was not getting better but had rather declined in the past three weeks (the diary was found in 2006). The officer who was heading the major crime squad of the Montreal police, Richard Dupuis was reported as saying that the actions of Gill were a way of taking revenge from the world because he was so angry at it. However, he said, he was not sure why he chose Dawson to be the place where he would take out his frustrations. He stated that could be Dawson or it could be another place.
When we study any of the profiles created by Gill on any website or social media, we find out that he always listed “the world and everything that was in the world” as his dislikes. He never approved of anyone or any group of people and felt the need to take revenge from the people.
Buncombe, A. (2006) College Gunman Revealed Obsession with Columbine Killings on Internet . The Independent (London, England), [online] September 15. Available at: http://www.questia.com/library/1P2-2057765/college-gunman-revealed-obsession-with-columbine-killings [Accessed: 8th January 2013].
Canada.com (2012) Who Was Kimveer Gill? (Part 2). [online] Available at: http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/story.html?id=d1933b65-8a0c-454f-bff0-9e072f8918b5 [Accessed: 8 Jan 2013].
Cbc.ca (2006) Montreal gunman called himself ‘angel of death’ – Canada – CBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2006/09/14/gunman-shooting.html [Accessed: 8 Jan 2013].
Cbc.ca (2006) Montreal gunman killed himself: autopsy – Canada – CBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2006/09/14/qc-dawsoninvestigation.html [Accessed: 8 Jan 2013].
Meloy, J. And O’Toole, M. (2011) The Concept of Leakage in Threat Assessment. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, Available at: http://forensiseuropa.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/2011_theconceptofleakage.pdf [Accessed: January 8th 2013].
Unknown. (2008) Mental Health Research Showcase. [e-book] http://www.mentalhealthresearch.ca/KeyInitiatives/Showcase/Documents/Showcase2008/Showcase2008_Day2Slides.pdf [Accessed: January 8th 2013].