Good morning and thank you for joining me here today. I'd like to acknowledge that we are gathered on unceded Algonquin Territory. I will offer a few remarks in English and then in French followed by a short question and answer session.
To start, I want to make it very clear that there are many elements that I'm not in a position to speak to as the RCMP investigation is ongoing. I can tell you that a bail hearing has been scheduled for this morning and the accused will face multiple charges. As soon as the RCMP is in a position to do so, we will release the details of these charges.
I also want to emphasize that I will not speak to resources or any elements that may compromise our important Protective Policing mandate. This is not specific to this case – the RCMP never releases details regarding the protection of the Prime Minister, the Governor General or any other protectee.
That said, I want to stress that there was never any danger to the Prime Minister and his family, nor to the Governor General, as neither were on the grounds at the time.
I would also like to take this opportunity to say how extremely proud I am of the professionalism our members on the scene showed in quickly and safely addressing this volatile and dangerous situation.
Here is what I can tell you about yesterday's events, which began at 6:30 and ended peacefully with an arrest at around 8:30.
As previously stated, on July 2nd at approximately 6:30 in the morning, a lone male breached the main pedestrian entrance of 1 Sussex Drive – at Thomas Gate – with a vehicle, which was disabled on impact.
National Capital Commission workers noticed the vehicle breach and notified the Commissionaires who approached the area and observed the male walking with what appeared to be a firearm. They notified the Rideau Hall Operational Command Center who immediately reached out to the RCMP's National Division Operational Command Center and our patrols on the ground.
Around 6:40, the accused was seen on the grounds of Rideau Hall by our members who are stationed there as part of our ongoing security detail. The entire facility was immediately placed on lockdown.
Our colleagues at the Ottawa Police Service and Emergency Medical Service were advised and were quick to support us. We thank them for their ongoing support.
At 6:42, the accused proceeded on foot on the grounds of Rideau Hall to the greenhouse, which is an onsite structure with limited public access.
At 6:43 our team confirmed they had visual contact on the suspect. Moments later, RCMP Members successfully engaged the suspect in a discussion. The objective was to de-escalate an obviously perilous situation with an armed suspect.
At 6:53 the suspect continued to engage in dialogue with our members, providing his name and other information that helped to open the channels of communication.
Our members relied on their training and instincts to continue speaking with the suspect until just before 8:30 am, at which point he was apprehended without any incident and taken into custody for questioning.
I can tell you a number of units and personnel were engaged in locating and containing the scene, including the Emergency Response Team. As a precaution, the Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear, and Explosive team was also deployed to search and secure the suspect's vehicle. As I mentioned earlier, the Ottawa Police Service also supported this response.
I cannot emphasize enough how effective our members were in being vigilant, reacting quickly and using successful de-escalation techniques to resolve this highly volatile incident swiftly and without injury to anyone.
I can confirm that immediate measures have been put in place to increase security following yesterday's event. We will be conducting an after action review as well as further analysis on the overall security posture and technology in place.
As mentioned, the suspect is scheduled to be in court for a bail hearing today where charges will be sworn.
I am very proud of all our people and our partners who moved fast and acted decisively to contain this threat.
Thank you. I am happy to take some questions.
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For accessibility purposes:
Image shows an aerial view of Rideau Hall, highlighting the events along with their timestamps. At 0629 hours, a black Dodge Ram breaches Thomas Gate. The location where the vehicle was abandoned is highlighted along the pedestrian path, a hundred meters from Thomas Gate. The location where the suspect hid between 0635 and 0638 hours is highlighted. The last highlight is the location where an RCMP member challenged the suspect at 0645 hours. At 0827 hours, the suspect is in custody.
Image is property of the RCMP National Division