QUEBEC CITY – They were fathers, one was a businessman, one a university professor, two worked in information technology. All had gathered for evening prayers at a Quebec City mosque when a shooter opened fire in what authorities are calling a terrorist act. Six people were killed and 19 others wounded in the Sunday night attack on the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in the provincial capital.
Community members described those who died:
Ibrahima Barry, 39: a father of four who worked in information technology at the health insurance board of Quebec.
Friend Moussa Sangare said Barry emigrated from Guinea and supported his immediate and extended family in Canada and in Africa.
Barry and cousin Mamadou Tanou Barry, another victim of Sunday's shooting, spent a lot of time together and were always smiling, Sangare said.
"They were so kind," he said, adding that the community can't make sense of their deaths. "They were people who were well integrated in Quebec. They had good work. They took care of their kids and their family."
Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42: a father of two boys born in Canada following their father's emigration from Guinea.
Friend Moussa Sangare said Barry's death "decimated" not one but two families.
"Tanou lost his father three years ago, so it became his responsibility to support not only his family here but also his family in Africa," said Sangare. "Now that's all been cut."
Sangare said he spent Saturday morning with both Barrys in the mosque where the shooting took place, attending a Quran reading with their children.
The Guinean government posted a statement on its website expressing its "deepest sympathy and condolences to the Canadian government, the families of the disappeared, and the entire nation."
Souleymane Bah, a member of the roughly 300-person Guinean community in Quebec City, said the pair's deaths had devastated community members but they wouldn't let a shooter make them flee from their place of worship.
Abdelkrim Hassane, 41: a father of three daughters, including one a few months old, who worked in information technology for the government.
Friend Ali Hamadi said he left the mosque a few minutes before the shooting that took Hassane's life. He said his friend worked as a program analyst at the Quebec Shared Service Center since 2014. Hassane had studied computer engineering at the University of Science and Technology Houari Boumediene, near Algiers.
Abdelkader Chouchane, a friend of Hassane's who was reached by The Associated Press in Algeria, said Hassane was born in Staoueli, a town of about 50,000 people. He had two brothers and five sisters, and had lived in Canada for more than eight years.
Hassane's siblings are trying to repatriate his body to Algeria, he said.
"His family is of course affected by this tragic death that has upset us all," said Chouchane. "All the inhabitants of the village where he used to live (in Algeria) are affected by this cruel, barbaric and illogical attack that affected Canada."
Azzeddine Soufiane, 57: a grocer and butcher with three children who immigrated to Quebec from Morocco.
Soufiane was a longtime Quebec City resident who had opened the first halal grocery store, Boucherie Assalam, in the suburb of Ste. Foy, said Karim Elabed, imam at a mosque in the nearby city of Levis.
Soufiane helped guide newcomers to Quebec City, Elabed said.
"Myself, when I arrived here eight years ago, (his shop) was the first place I learned about, and pretty much all of Quebec's Muslims did their groceries there," he said.
Ali Ouldache, who arrived in 2007, said Soufiane was the first person he spoke to when he arrived from France, a little bit lost in his new surroundings.
"It (his store) was really my refuge and we became friends after that," Ouldache said.
Khaled Belkacemi, 60: a food science professor at Laval University, originally from Algeria.
Belkacemi held two doctorates in chemical engineering, according to the curriculum vitae published by the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods, and he was the keynote speaker at the 66th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference in Quebec City last October.
"Our university community is in mourning today," rector Denis Briere said in a statement.
Mohamed Labidi, vice president at the mosque where the attack occurred, said Belkacemi was a good friend who "wouldn't have hurt anyone."
On his Facebook page, Belkacemi's son, Amir, described his father as "a good man, an example of resilience, a man loved by all, a professor and researcher emeritus, a fighter, a man who left his country to give his family a chance to live far away from horror."
Aboubaker Thabti, 44: a Tunisian-born father of two young children who worked in a pharmacy.
Thabti's death was confirmed by the Tunisian Embassy, which reported that two other individuals of Tunisian origin had been injured in the attack, including one seriously.
Friend Ghazi Hamrouni told The Globe and Mail that Thabti's children were 3 and 10 years old.
"He's so kind; everyone loves him - everyone," another friend, Abder Dhakkar, recalled.