Ottawa shooting: 'Sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers shot Michael Zehaf-Bibeau at point-blank range after diving around pillar'

Kevin Vickers, 58, was formerly in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Lizzie Dearden
Monday 27 October 2014 08:28
Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers is understood to have shot the gunman in Parliament
Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers is understood to have shot the gunman in Parliament

The “terrorist” who killed a Canadian soldier was shot dead around a pillar by Parliament’s sergeant-at-arms as he hid in an alcove, it has emerged.

Kevin Vickers, 58, confronted Michael Zehaf-Bibeau alone and shot him at point-blank range while risking his life, CBC reported.

The attacker, who had already killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial, had exchanged fire with guards at the entrance of the central block and ran down the Hall of Honour.

He passed a room where the Prime Minister was meeting MPs and another room of politicians, shooting at both doors as he passed.

Mr Vickers was in his office when he heard gunshots and grabbed his automatic pistol and ran out into the passage, where his security team told him Zehaf-Bibeau was hiding around a pillar just metres away.

Witnesses told CBC News that the sergeant-at-arms immediately ran to the other side of the pillar, where he was within touching distance of the gunman and could see his firearm poking out.

In one motion, sources said he dived to the floor around the pillar, shooting Zehaf-Bibeau in mid-air as he fell to the ground.

He emptied all his ammunition and was followed by his security team, who also fired at the gunman.

The stone alcove was left with nine bullet holes and a stray round was found embedded in a library desk the other side of a door.

Footage taken by a Globe and Mail reporter captured the moment Zehaf-Bibeau was killed, although it was out of sight.

The first shots heard are Mr Vickers’ and the following barrage was from his staff.

An Isis-related Twitter account posted this image in the aftermath of the shooting, claiming it showed suspect Michael Zehaf-Bibeau

According to sources, Mr Vickers calmly got up after the firing was over and went back to his office to reload his gun in case another attacker was on the premises.

He then entered the room where Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his MPs had barricaded themselves inside.

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

Mr Vickers has occupied the largely ceremonial position in the House of Commons for eight years but drew on his three decades in the Mounted Police.

On Thursday, he received a standing ovation in the House of Commons for his actions.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, was a Muslim convert who had a string of convictions for assault, robbery and drug offences.

His motive remains unknown, but Canada’s Prime Minister has called the shooting a terror attack, and the bloodshed raised fears that Canada is suffering reprisals for joining the US-led air campaign against Isis in Iraq and Syria.

The attack in Ottawa came two days after a man described as an “Isis-inspired terrorist” ran over two soldiers in a car park in Quebec, killing one and injuring the other before being shot by police.

The grounds of the Canadian Parliament were reopened to the public today for the first time since Wednesday, with flags flying at half mast.

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