Police draw guns, arrest man at National War Memorial as MPs gather
WATCH ABOVE: Police draw guns and arrest man at War Memorial before wreath laying ceremony
TORONTO – Police drew their guns on a man near the National War Memorial in Ottawa Thursday morning, yelling for him to “get down,” before taking him into custody.
Ottawa Police said he was arrested for “disturbing the crime scene at the Cenotaph” but offered no further information.
“It’s just somebody that tried to breach the crime scene, and that’s all we have for now,” Ottawa police Const. Marc Soucy told The Canadian Press.
Federal politicians gathered at the National War Memorial in Ottawa this morning prior to the resumption of Parliament to pay their respects to fallen Canadian soldier Nathan Cirillo, gunned down at the base of the monument on Wednesday.
A witness said Prime Minister Stephen Harper had “just arrived” at the scene when police pulled their guns on the unknown man.
In an address in the House of Commons, Harper urged MPs to take care of their health and see a doctor if experiencing “physical stress as a result of what occurred yesterday.” Harper called it a terribly sad day, particularly for the family and loved ones of both Nathan Cirillo and Quebec hit-and-run victim Patrice Vincent.
“We’ve seen the pictures of these ‘beautiful guys’ as Don Cherry would say—and our hearts are with all of them,” said Harper.
“We’re all aware and deeply troubled that both of this week’s terrorist attacks were carried out by Canadian citizens–young men born and raised in this peaceful country. … We are equally resolved to fight [terrorism] here. The mission of our country and the work of Parliament goes on.”
Harper then commended the bravery of Canadian security forces, and shook hands with Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers amid a standing ovation. He then embraced Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair.
LIVE BLOG: Attack on Parliament Hill
Several dozen Members of Parliament met in front of the memorial around 8:30 a.m. to remember the life of reservist Corporal Nathan Cirillo who was fatally shot while standing on guard.
Other MPs, including Hedy Fry, have invited the public to come to their constituency offices to sign a book of condolences.
Meanwhile, a fire alarm rang out early Thursday morning at Parliament Hill. Watch video below:
Politicians said on Wednesday they will show up for work as usual despite the shooting incident that resulted in the death of the suspected gunman, identified as Michael Zehaf Bibeau, inside the halls of Parliament Hill.
Early Thursday morning, the buildings remained under close surveillance by police with several street closures in the downtown core.
The Hill is still off-limits to the public.
Watch below: Parliament flag lowered, Ottawa residents return to work
More is being learned about 24-year-old Cpl. Cirillo of Hamilton, Ont. who was an animal lover, outdoor enthusiast and fitness buff.
He was serving as a reservist for the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada.
Watch below: Growing memorial at Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada barracks
“Can’t believe my cousin is gone !! Love you Nathen Cirillo. R I P.,” wrote David Cirillo, the soldier’s cousin, on Facebook.
An online campaign to raise funds for the families of Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed in a hit-and-run in Quebec on Monday, has also been started.
As of early Thursday, close to $1,500 have been raised.
With files from Laura Stone