Kevin Vickers, the sergeant-at-arms in charge of security on the Parliament Hill, shot down an armed gunman inside the Centre Block as MPs attended caucus meetings, multiple reports say.
“MPs and Hill staff owe their safety, even lives, to Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers who shot attacker just outside the MPs’ caucus rooms,” NDP MP Craig Scott said on Twitter.
“We are really thankful to the sergeant-at-arms,” NDP MP Peggy Nash (High Park) said in a telephone interview, adding that all of the security detail were “very, very courageous.”
The gunman was fatally shot. Vickers was not injured in the attack and was taken to an Ottawa police station to give a statement, CBC News reported shortly before 1 p.m.
Scott later said it was “amazing” that Vickers was the one to take down the assailant.
“There is something amazing about that, because it’s such a symbolic position, carrying the mace and all that sort of stuff and yet he does run our security,” he said.
“I’m almost certain he saved lives. There is just no way that a guy with that kind of fire power was not going to be able to find a target.”
Vickers is easy to notice on Parliament Hill.
Standing 6-foot-4, and powerfully built, he wears an antiquated-looking uniform, and carries a ceremonial sword and the Mace for the opening and closing of the Chamber each day.
He or his deputies also sit through debates.