Suspect arrested near Rideau Hall facing 22 charges
OTTAWA -- A 46-year-old man who allegedly breached the front pedestrian gates of Rideau Hall on Thursday morning is now facing 22 criminal charges, most of them related to the possession and transportation of firearms.
RCMP made the announcement in a press release following Corey Hurren’s bail hearing, when the charges were laid. The active member of the Canadian Armed Forces is currently being held in custody with a pending court date of July 17.
RCMP Deputy Commissioner Mike Duheme told reporters earlier in the day that police were not aware of or monitoring Hurren prior to the incident.
Hurren was arrested on Thursday morning after police say he bypassed the Thomas gate at 1 Sussex Drive, damaging the front-end of his pickup truck and initiating the vehicle’s airbags.
National Capital Commission staff, who saw the incident, notified the on-site Commissionaires who observed Hurren proceeding on foot to a greenhouse carrying what appeared to be a firearm.
"Visual contact was made at 6:43 a.m., verbal contact was made at 6:45 a.m. and a discussion ensued at 6:53 a.m.," said Duheme. "I have to highlight from 6:53 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., there was constant dialogue with an individual who was carrying a weapon."
Police dispatched the emergency response team shortly after 7 a.m. and the man was arrested and brought in for questioning shortly before 8:30 a.m. The RCMP said the man was arrested "without incident."
Asked why it took over an hour to detain the suspect, Duheme said there’s always an effort by members first to de-escalate a situation but that it can take time.
"The conversation was fluid, went well so there was no need to escalate anything any further and what we wanted to do was resolve it at the lowest level and not have any injuries," he said. "I’m very proud of all our people and our partners who moved fast and acted decisively to contain the threat."
Governor General Julie Payette was not at her residence during the incident, nor was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family who are staying on the same grounds at Rideau Cottage.
"There was never any danger to the prime minister and his family, nor to the Governor General," said Duheme.
Hurren has been identified as a Canadian Ranger from rural Manitoba.
According to the RCMP, charges against him include:
- 4 counts of careless use, storage and handling of a firearm;
- 4 counts of contravention of transport regulation of a firearm;
- 4 counts of possession of a weapon for dangerous purpose;
- 1 count of possession of a restricted firearm, knowing its possession is unauthorized;
- 1 count of possession of prohibited device, knowing its possession is unauthorized;
- 1 count of possession at unauthorized place;
- 4 counts of unauthorized possession in motor vehicle;
- 2 counts of possession of prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition;
- 1 count of uttering threats.
None of the charges have been proven in court. The RCMP has yet to provide details about the motivation behind the incident.
"Interviews were conducted but it’s not something I’m going to share because an investigation is still ongoing, the charges haven’t been laid yet," said Duheme.
Police deployed police robots and sniffer dogs to the area to search Hurren’s black four-door Dodge Ram truck. Images from the scene show garbage bags, large boxes and an orange cooler under analysis.
"As a precaution, the [chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive] team was also deployed to search and secure the suspect's vehicle," reads an RCMP statement.
Trudeau responded to the events on Friday morning during a COVID-19 press briefing, offering his gratitude to police.
"Obviously this was something that nobody wants to hear, but I want to thank the extraordinary members of the police services and the RCMP who did their job and nobody was hurt, nobody was injured."