(Saint-Léon-le-Grand) In the village where Steve Gagnon grew up, relatives and acquaintances of the driver painted a portrait on Tuesday of an isolated man who was going through a bad patch.

“He wasn’t a bad guy. He was not tough, ”says the mayor of Saint-Léon-le-Grand, Jean-Côme Lévesque. “I think the wires touched. »

Since Monday, the mayor of this village of 990 inhabitants has been trying to understand how Steve Gagnon was able to kill innocent people with his vehicle. This same Steeve Gagnon who, the mayor recalls, grew up in this village ten minutes by car from Amqui, who was born a few days after his own daughter and to whom his wife taught.

Jean-Côme Lévesque even says he saw Steve Gagnon a few minutes before the attack when he went to Amqui to run errands.

“I saw him from behind. He lit a cigarette and got into his truck. It must have been around 3 p.m. I thought to myself, ‘Hey, Steve is going for a ride. »

Steeve Gagnon spent the first years of his life in Saint-Léon-le-Grand. He left the village in his early twenties, according to relatives.

He lived with his mother in a small white bungalow. When her parents separated, her father moved to British Columbia. He himself went to live for a few years in the West, notes one of his childhood friends, who does not want to be named. He “worked in the woods” and then took trucking jobs.

Steve Gagnon had problems with alcohol, blows his friend. “He had substance abuse issues, OK. But from there to do that? He adds, “Everyone knows each other here.” No one understand. »

Several elements suggest that Steve Gagnon was going through a difficult period in his life. A friend of his thinks he was sick. André-Luc St-Laurent wrote in a Facebook post, which he has since deleted, that he had a beer with Steve Gagnon last week.

“It wasn’t in great shape, but it was going to fit. I could see that you were sick, maybe I should have worked hard to get you treated. It might not have gone there, but you would have had to accept being sick like anyone else, ”wrote Mr. St-Laurent.

People interviewed by La Presse on Tuesday indicate that Steve Gagnon, who worked as a truck driver in a company in Mont-Joli, was off work. He reportedly suffered from back pain.

“Last summer, I delivered firewood to his street. He recognized us, me and my son, and talked to us,” recalls the mayor of Saint-Léon, Jean-Côme Lévesque.

“When I got in the truck afterwards, I remember saying to my son, ‘Steeve is not a happy guy, it shows in his eyes.’ But listen, I’m not a psychologist. »