Rideau Hall suspect facing 22 charges

The RCMP says a Canadian Armed Forces reservist is facing 22 charges after a security breach at Rideau Hall Thursday morning.

The Mounties provided an update on the investigation Friday morning, but did not immediately announce the charges against the accused. The suspect was scheduled to appear for a bail hearing in Ottawa. 

Later Friday, RCMP said Corey Hurren, 46, of Bowsman, Man. is facing 22 charges, most of them relating to firearms possession.

RCMP said a man was arrested after breaching the main pedestrian entrance of 1 Sussex Drive on Thursday morning. CTV News identified the suspect as Corey Hurren Thursday evening. Hurren is a Canadian ranger.

At 6:30 a.m. Thursday, a lone male breached the main pedestrian entrance of Rideau Hall with his vehicle, which was disabled on impact.

“The armed suspect then proceeded on foot on the grounds of Rideau Hall to the greenhouse, an onsite structure with limited public access, where he was rapidly contained by RCMP members who were on patrol in the area,” the RCMP said in a statement.

“While an RCMP member began dialogue with the suspect, the RCMP National Division Emergency Response Team was dispatched and arrived shortly after 7 a.m. The armed suspect was apprehended shortly before 8:30 a.m. without any incident.”

Speaking to reporters on Friday morning, RCMP Deputy Commissioner Mike Duheme said National Capital Commission workers saw the vehicle breach the gates at Rideau Hall and notified the Commissionairers.

Duheme said the Commissionaires noticed the suspect carrying what appeared to be a firearm, and notified the RCMP.

"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.," Duheme said. "From 6:53 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., there was constant dialogue with an individual who was carrying a weapon."

He said the suspect was armed with a rifle, but did not give specifics. 

Duheme told reporters there are “many elements that I’m not in a position to speak to as the RCMP’s investigation is ongoing.”

A black pickup truck with Manitoba licence plates was parked on the grounds of Rideau Hall Thursday morning. An RCMP robot could be seen investigating the truck and its contents as part of the investigation.

In a statement, the Mounties said the CBRNE team was deployed to search the suspect vehicle. The RCMP has said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family, as well as the Governor General, were not on site at the time of the incident.

Duheme said Friday morning that, "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 of the incident."

In a statement to CTV News on Thursday, a Canadian Armed Forces spokesperson said, “The Canadian Armed Forces is collaborating closely with the RCMP.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the grounds of Rideau Hall are closed to the public, and public tours are cancelled.

According to the RCMP, charges against Hurren 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; and
  • 1 count of uttering threats.

None of the charges have been proven in court. The RCMP has yet to provide details about a motive.

Hurren will next appear in an Ottawa court July 17.

With files from CTV National News.