Mounties who helped end Parliament Hill attack still not recognized
Almost a year after MPs gave Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers a standing ovation in the House of Commons for his part in killing Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the RCMP has still not recognized the four officers who helped take the gunman down.
An un-redacted copy of an OPP investigation obtained by CTV News shows Const. Curtis Barrett, Const. Martin Fraser, Sgt. Rick Rozon and Corp. Dany Daigle helped corner Zehaf-Bibeau in the Centre Block last Oct. 22.
As Zehaf-Bibeau jumped out and shot at the officers, Vickers fell to the ground and began firing, according to the document.
Const. Barrett “could feel the percussion of (Zehaf-Bibeau’s) gunshot as he moved forward and then saw the barrel of the gunman’s rifle,” but that didn’t stop Barrett from “walking towards the gunman while firing,” the report says.
“Const. Barrett continued to fire his weapon and strongly believes that all 15 shots hit the gunman. The one round that Const. Barrett can physically remember is the shot going into the gunman’s head.”
The OPP report released publicly in June revealed that six officers fired 56 shots. Zehaf-Bibeau was hit by 31 bullets, including two that were “rapidly fatal independently” -- one to that “perforated the brain” and a second that “perforated the heart.”
While Vickers received his standing ovation in the House of Commons for his bravery and was appointed ambassador to Ireland, the four Mounties have not received so much as a handshake or thank you note from RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson.
Sources told CTV’s Parliamentary Bureau Chief Robert Fife the four officers were told two days after the shooting that “the Kevin Vickers train has left the station but you guys will get internal recognition,” including a commissioner’s commendation and recommendation for a Governor General’s Award.
That hasn’t happened. Instead, each man has spent time on stress leave.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair said he remembers Const. Barrett rushing to protect him after taking down Zehaf-Bibeau and that it’s time to publicly recognize the officers.
“The brave officers of the RCMP who were there that day involved in making sure that we were safe, who took down that shooter, deserve to be commended for their action,” Mulcair said.
“It’s been almost a year.”
Conservative MP and Speaker of the House of Commons Andrew Scheer telephoned Const. Barrett to thank him for his bravery after he read the OPP report in June, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not.
RCMP communications manager Brigitte Mineault said the RCMP will not allow the men to be interviewed, “for officer safety reasons.”
When asked why there has been no commendation or public acknowledgement, Mineault said there was public acknowledgement at the June OPP press conference.
Mineault added that “an internal but formal recognition event in currently being planned and will take place in the near future.”
With a report from CTV’s Parliamentary Bureau Chief Robert Fife and files from Field Producer Philip Ling