A Manitoba man is facing 22 criminal charges after an armed suspect was arrested on the grounds of Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Thursday.
On Friday, Corey Hurren, 46, was charged with multiple firearms offences, including possession of a restricted firearm and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. He also faces a single count of uttering threats.
Hurren was arrested Thursday. The arrest came after a lone man drove his pickup truck through the gate of Rideau Hall around 6:30 a.m., RCMP said. The suspect had several weapons on him, RCMP said. His vehicle was “disabled on impact,” and he then walked to a greenhouse structure with a rifle where he was “rapidly contained” by officers who were on patrol in the area, RCMP said.
He was arrested without incident shortly before 8:30 a.m. and brought into police custody for questions, RCMP said.
Timeline of the incident
At a press conference Friday morning, RCMP Deputy Commissioner Mike Duheme laid out a timeline of the event that spanned from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
After the suspect drove his truck through the gate, he abandoned it. National Capital Commission staff then saw the abandoned vehicle and alerted Commissionaires on site who noticed the suspect walking on a path with a gun a few minutes later.
Duheme said security footage shows the man hid in a rose garden armed with what appeared to be a rifle for three minutes before running up a path to the greenhouse attached to the back of the Rideau Hall residence where Gov. Gen. Julie Payette normally lives.
RCMP officers spotted him in the greenhouse at 6:43 a.m., began talking with him two minutes later, and then negotiated with him for more than 90 minutes before arresting him.
Duheme said the suspect was “very co-operative.”
Suspect’s business was struggling, friend says
According to Hurren’s LinkedIn page, he lives in Bowsman, Man., which is about 500 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.
The page says he is the owner of GrindHouse Fine Foods and is a member of the Canadian Rangers, an organization within the Canadian Armed Forces.
Global News called the number on the GrindHouse Fine Foods website, which connected to a voicemail for “Corey Hurren.”
The LinkedIn page also page says he grew up in the Swan River Valley area, which is near the Saskatchewan and Manitoba border, and he has worked in the meat and livestock industry throughout Western Canada for more than 20 years.
Hurren was an employee at Swan Valley Co-op for 11 years until he resigned in September 2019, according to Colin Peters, general manager of the Swan Valley Consumers Co-op.
“We will be co-operating with any inquiries or investigation by the RCMP and other authorities into this incident, but will not be making any further statements to the media or others on this matter,” Peters said in a statement.
Bill Gade, a friend of the suspect, told Global News the man was well-known in Swan River, Man. He had recently started his own sausage business. His sausages were made in Winnipeg, and he would make the six-hour drive to pick them up from the factory and bring them back north.
Gade said the suspect volunteered at the Lion’s Club and helped out during the annual ice-fishing tournament.
Hurren’s involvement with the local rangers could explain his access to firearms, Gade said, but he added that many people in town hunted.
“Everybody here has guns,” he said.
The suspect never espoused anti-government sentiments or conspiracies, he said. “He wasn’t like that,” said Gade, who has organized a GoFundMe page for the family.
Gade said the suspect’s business may have been struggling, and wondered whether he qualified for assistance programs.
Locals were shocked to hear he had been arrested at Rideau Hall, finding it completely out of character, he added.
“It’s wild to me,” he said.
Whatever he may have had in mind did not seem to have been well thought out, since neither the prime minister nor governor-general were present, he said.
He wondered whether mental health may have played a role.
Rideau Hall is the official residence of Gov. Gen. Julie Payette. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also lives at the nearby Rideau Cottage located on the park grounds.
Neither Payette nor Trudeau were home at the time of the incident.
Hurren has been charged with the following offences:
- 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
- 1 count of uttering threats
Hurren remains in custody following a bail hearing on Friday. He is expected to appear in court again on July 17.
— With files from Global News’ Amanda Connolly, Kerri Breen and the Canadian Press