Manitoba reservist charged in Rideau Hall breach

RCMP charged a Canadian Ranger from rural Manitoba with 22 charges in connection to Thursday’s major security breach at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

CTV News has identified the suspect as 46-year-old Corey Hurren from Bowsman, Man., a small community 500 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, near the Saskatchewan border.

“I didn’t know what to think,” said Mintonas-Bowsman Reeve Walter Pacamaniuk. “Everybody was shocked.”

An armed man drove a pickup truck with Manitoba plates into the gates at 1 Sussex Dr., the residence of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Governor General Julie Payette, at around 6:30 a.m. Thursday. Neither was home at the time.

“It’s obviously not something anyone wants to hear,” said Trudeau Friday.

The suspect got out of his vehicle and made his way to the green house of Rideau Hall. He was on the grounds for 13 minutes before officers stopped him.

“Our members relied on their training and instinct to continue, speaking with the suspect until 8:30 a.m., at which point he was apprehended into custody without incident,” said RCMP Deputy Commissioner Michael Duheme.

The RCMP said the gunman had “several weapons,” but wouldn’t provide specific details. On Friday, the suspected gunman was charged with multiple firearms-related offences and uttering threats.

The incident led to an immediate review of security protocol at Rideau Hall.

Hurren is a reservist and member of the Swan River Patrol, a unit that launches rescues in remote parts of the province.

CTV News visited Hurren’s hometown of Bowsman Friday. Pacamaniuk said he was known in the community, after working at a Co-op grocery store for 10 years in the nearby town of Swan River. He worked in the meat department and left his job last year.

“When he worked at the Co-op store, he always said, ‘Good morning’ asked how you were doing,” said Pacamaniuk. “But I mean, I don’t know how people think.”

Social media posts show Hurren started a small business selling meat products called GrindHouse Fine Foods, and volunteered with a local Lions Club.

On his business’ Facebook page, he recently uploaded a post about a conspiracy theory linked to COVID-19.

RCMP wouldn’t say whether that post is connected to the case, or reveal anything about motive.