WATCH ABOVE: A mild-mannered, former RCMP officer from Miramichi, N.B. is being hailed a hero for bringing an end to a gunman’s rampage on Parliament Hill. Chief Political Correspondent Tom Clark has the story.
Members of Parliament stood and applauded their Sergeant-at-Arms, Kevin Vickers, as he entered the House of Commons Thursday morning.
Vickers entered the House as he always does, carrying the ceremonial mace. Obviously emotional, he nodded briefly in response to the applause before taking his seat. After a speech, Prime Minister Stephen Harper walked across the House to shake Vickers’ hand.
WATCH: Emotional standing ovation for Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers as House returns to work
Vickers is reportedly the man who shot Michael Zehaf-Bibeau as he broke into Parliament’s Centre Block. According to a report from CBC, he told Conservative MPs barricaded in their caucus room, “I put him down,” before leaving to reload.
Members of Parliament tweeted their gratitude throughout the day Wednesday, even as some of them remained locked in their rooms.
Vickers, 58, has been Sergeant-at-Arms since 2006. Although it is partly a ceremonial role, with Vickers carrying the ceremonial mace into the House of Commons while it is sitting, he is also in charge of Parliamentary security.
Kevin Vickers released a statement Thursday afternoon.
MPs and Hill staff owe their safety, even lives, to Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers who shot attacker just outside the MPs' caucus rooms.— Craig Scott (@CraigScottNDP) October 22, 2014
To all in Ottawa, stay safe & strong. Thank God for Sgt at Arms Kevin Vickers & our Cdn security forces. True heroes #cndpoli— Peter MacKay (@MinPeterMacKay) October 22, 2014
“I am very touched by the attention directed at me following yesterday’s events. However, I have the support of a remarkable security team that is committed to ensuring the safety of Members, employees and visitors to the Hill. Yesterday, during extraordinary circumstances, security personnel demonstrated professionalism and courage. I am grateful and proud to be part of this team,” he wrote.
“On behalf of all members of the House of Commons Security Services team, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. Our prayers are with you. Our thoughts are also with Constable Samearn Son, who has been with the House of Commons Security Services for 10 years. Constable Son suffered a gun shot wound to the leg. He is in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery.”
WATCH: Some of the most powerful moments in Canadian history happened Thursday morning in the House of Commons as MP’s got back to business
Vickers is a 29-year veteran of the RCMP, where he led investigations into homicides, drugs and into the safety of Canada’s blood supply. He also served as Aide-de-Camp for the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick and provided security to the Queen during one of her visits to Canada.
“He was always about country and community,” said Kevin Vickers’ brother, John Vickers.
“He started out as a constable at 20 years of age and rose across the country in the force before becoming a Sergeant-at-Arms. He’s always been about service to country and community and he certainly exemplified that today because when the nation called upon him today, he did what needed to be done.”
WATCH: Mulcair and Trudeau thank Kevin Vickers
WATCH: Elizabeth May says the best thing Parliament could do for Kevin Vickers is to let him go fly fishing