Kevin Vickers, the former Canadian Mountie credited with stopping Wednesday’s Ottawa shooting spree at the Canadian Parliament, can be seen walking calmly with handgun at his side just moments after reportedly shooting and killing crazed gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau in a video shown on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s news program.
The dramatic video — dramatic for the lack of drama displayed by the 58-year-old Vickers — shows the 28-year veteran of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ducking his head inside a room in Canada’s parliament building. That room is believed to have contained Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
According to media reports, Vickers spoke just one sentence before leaving to guard other members of parliament from any other possible gunmen who might have still be at large.
“I put him down,” Vickers told the Prime Minister.
Vickers now serves as Sergeant-at-Arms for the Canadian House of Commons. He was appointed head of security for the House in 2005.
When the House convened on Thursday morning, Vickers took his usual post but was moved when the entire membership of Canada’s governing body stood and applauded him for his quick action in stopping the gunman.
Authorities have not officially confirmed that Vickers was responsible for killing Zehaf-Bibeau but Paul Dewar, a member of Canada’s parliament, said that Vickers “provided enormous comfort and security” during the shooting attack that took the life of a Canadian soldier.
The CBC cited two sources, saying that they witnessed Vickers shoot and kill the suspect, a recent convert to Islam who was described by an acquaintance as “mentally ill.”
After shooting the soldier, 24-year-old Corporal Nathan Cirillo, Zehaf-Bibeau ran into the halls of the parliament building. Whether he intended to kill more victims can never be known for sure but Vickers likely saved an unknown number of lives by his alert actions.
“After receiving the prolonged standing ovation from Canada’s parliament Thursday morning, Vickers issued a statement saying that he was ‘very touched’ by the tribute, adding, ‘Yesterday, during extraordinary circumstances, security personnel demonstrated professionalism and courage. I am grateful and proud to be part of this team.’”
A friend of the dead suspect, David Bathurst, who said he had known Zehaf-Bibeau for three years, said that the Muslim convert did not appear to be an Islamic extremist but often spoke about “devils and demons” which he believed were out to get him.
“I think he must have been mentally ill,” said Bathurst.
The Canadian Prime Minister, however, has described the Ottawa shooting as an act of terrorism and said it as still too early to know if others besides the gunman apparently killed by Kevin Vickers were involved.