OTTAWA — The sergeant-at-arms of the Canadian Parliament was hailed as a national hero Thursday, credited with shooting and killing the man who gunned down a soldier and sprinted into the halls of Parliament.
Kevin Vickers was given huge and sustained applause as lawmakers returned to business. He said later in a statement that he was “very touched.”
“Yesterday, during extraordinary circumstances, security personnel demonstrated professionalism and courage,” he said. “I am grateful and proud to be part of this team.”
The extended condolences to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the soldier killed at the National War Memorial, and Constable Samearn Son, who he said suffered a gunshot wound to the leg inside Parliament.
Vickers, 58, killed the suspect and then returned to guard lawmakers from possible other suspects, said Member of Parliament Paul Dewar. "He provided enormous comfort and security,” Dewar said.
Law enforcement officials have not officially confirmed Vickers killed the assailant, but his brother paid tribute to the role of the 58-year-old in the operation. "He always put his nation and his community first and foremost," his brother, John Vickers, said. "We're just tremendously relieved he's OK and very, very proud of him and what he had to endure today."
Toronto lawmaker Craig Scott was among several to post messages of thanks on Twitter. "MPs and Hill staff owe their safety, even lives, to Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers who shot attacker just outside the MPs' caucus rooms," he said. Vickers' brother said he had previously served 28-years in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and had "a very exemplary career." Two sources told CBC News that Vickers shot dead the gunman inside the House of Commons' Hall of Honor.
- Alexander Smith, Alastair Jamieson and Justin Ling