A member of the Canadian military, who on Thursday rammed his vehicle into the gate of the park grounds in Ottawa that house the official residence of Governor General and the temporary home of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family, faces multiple charges says Canada’s national police force.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) identified the suspect as Corey Hurren of Manitoba.
The 46-year-old man is facing 22 charges in relation to the possession and transportation of firearms, as well as other criminal code charges, RCMP officials said Friday afternoon.
Hurren was supposed to appear before a judge on Friday but his hearing was adjourned until July 17.
The Canadian military confirmed on Friday reports by CBC News has that Hurren is an active member of the military who serves as a Canadian Ranger.
Canadian Rangers are part of the Canadian Army Reserve. The 5,000-strong force is made up of volunteers from remote northern and Indigenous communities who act the military’s eyes and ears in the sparsely populated northern and coastal areas of Canada.
Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) officials said Hurren held the rank of master corporal at the time of the incident.
Hurren first enrolled in the CAF Primary Reserve in April 1997 with the 10th Field Artillery Regiment in Regina, Saskatchewan, and was released in October of 2000 at the rank of corporal, the military said in a statement.
In 2019, he re-enrolled in the CAF as a member of the Canadian Rangers and currently belongs to the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (4 CRPG), which covers British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Officials said Hurren was considered “on duty” at the time of the incident on July 2 as he was supporting Operation LASER, the military’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on Class C full-time service.
Class C contracts offer Reservists – including Canadian Rangers – full time work with the same pay and benefits as Regular Force members, officials said. Members on Class C service are subject to the Code of Service Discipline both while training and on their personal time, they added.
“He was not, however, part of any CAF military task at the time of his arrest; he travelled to Ottawa of his own accord without the knowledge of his chain of command,” officials said.
“Furthermore, it is important to note that there is no indication at this time that the weapon in Master Cpl. Hurren’s possession when he was arrested belonged to the CAF.”
Also, Hurren’s Canadian Ranger service rifle was properly secured by his 4 CRPG chain of command, and a verification conducted on July 2 found no missing ammunition from his Ranger patrol, officials said.
While he was an active member of the Reserves, Hurren ran a business called GrindHouse Fine Foods, which makes meat products.
Police allege that Hurren drove his truck through the pedestrian entrance at 1 Sussex Drive at around 6:30 a.m. ET Thursday morning before heading to the ground’s greenhouse on foot.
Rideau Hall is the official residence of Gov. Gen. Julie Payette, the Queen’s representative in Canada, and the greenhouse is attached to the residence at the back. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family also live on the property at Rideau Cottage, not far from the greenhouse.
RCMP Deputy Commissioner Mike Duheme said neither Payette nor Trudeau and his family were home at the time Hurren was on the property.
Police quickly responded to the incident, located the suspect in the sprawling grounds and engaged with him to de-escalate the situation, he said.
Duheme said several units and personnel were dispatched to the incident and were engaged in locating and containing the scene, including the Emergency Response Team and the Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear, and Explosive Team.
Duheme said the man was responsive and talked to police officers during the armed standoff and there was no reason for police to escalate and use force.
Hurren, who according to police had several weapons, was eventually arrested without incident at around 8:30 a.m., Duheme said.
“I am very proud of all our people and our partners who moved fast and acted decisively to contain this threat,” Duheme said in a statement. “Our members were vigilant, reacted quickly and used successful de-escalation techniques to resolve this highly volatile incident swiftly and without injury to anyone.”
Police would not say what may have motivated Hurren to drive all the way from northern Manitoba to Ottawa, saying that it was part of the investigation.
Duheme said, however, that police believe Hurren acted alone and there is no further threat to the public.
RCMP, which provides security to the prime minister and the Governor General, will be reviewing security measures at Rideau Hall, which is usually open to the public, Duheme said.
With files from CBC News