Kevin Vickers, Canadian parliament's 'hero' sergeant-at-arms, appointed ambassador to Ireland

Vickers was widely praised for shooting a terrorist intruder last year

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The Independent US

The Canadian parliamentary official credited with fighting off a gun-wielding terrorist is set to be appointed the country’s new ambassador to Ireland.

Kevin Vickers, the Canadian House of Commons’s sergeant-at-arms, confronted gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau in a Parliament Hill hallway, shooting him with his job-issue handgun.

Canadian public broadcaster CBC reports that Mr Vickers will replace Loyola Hearn, who has held the role since January 2011.

The person holding the post of sergeant at arms in the Canadian House of Commons is responsible for a mixture of ceremonial and security duties.

During the incident at the Canadian Parliament last October, an attacker, who had already killed a Canadian soldier at the National War Memorial, exchanged fire with guards and ran down Canada’s Hall of Honour.

According to reports, Mr Vickers was in his office when he heard gunshots. He grabbed his automatic pistol and ran out into the passage, where his security team told him the gunman was hiding.

 

In a single motion the sergeant-at-arms dived to the floor and shot the gunman in mid-air as he fell to the ground. After the intruder was killed, Mr Vickers calmly rose to his feet and reloaded his gun.

He then entered the room where the country’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper had barricaded himself in with his a group of MPs.

“I engaged the suspect and the suspect is deceased,” Mr Vickers reportedly said, as the room erupted in cheers.

Mr Vickers has been sergeant at arms for eight years, and spent three decades in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Upon his return to the House of Commons the day after the attack, the sergeant-at-arms received a lengthy standing ovation from MPs.

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