The gunman was born Michael Joseph Paul Abdallah Bulgasem Zehaf Bibeau on Oct. 16, 1982, in Montreal, to Ms. Bibeau and Bulgasem Zehaf, a businessman of Libyan descent. In his school years, friends knew him as Mike Bibeau.
With a name like that you might have issues, too.
Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau attended a strict, private, French-language high school called Collège Laval, where students wore jackets and ties and could be penalized for swearing or having an untucked shirt. He was a well-liked classmate known for his ready smile and his skill with a Ping-Pong paddle. “He was part of our little ‘immigrant’ gang,” recalled classmate Vito Garofalo, who lost touch with him after high school. “He was a good kid and he was funny. He just fit in.”
He was also a fairly large boy who didn’t hesitate to look after himself. “He was a strong boy,” said Mr. Garofalo. “He had the capacity to pick up anybody if he wanted to. But he wasn’t a troublemaker.”
In those days, few students knew about his Libyan background, and one former classmate said everyone thought he was Italian. Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau switched to a public school in Laval in his fourth year.
“He likes to laugh and his smile drives girls crazy. He’ll go far in life. He’ll surely be a businessman in the near future,” the inscription in his graduation yearbook read.
Surprised he wasn’t an aspiring rapper. Meanwhile:
“The accused … wants to be in jail as he believes this is the only way he can overcome his addiction to crack cocaine,” the mental status report states. “He has been a devoted Muslim for seven years and he believes he must spend time in jail as a sacrifice to pay for his mistakes in the past and he hopes to be a better man when he is eventually released.” The report concluded: “I am unable to find any features or signs of mental illness.” He got credit for time served and did one more day in jail.