RCMP Lay 22 Charges Against Manitoba Man in Rideau Hall Incident

July 3, 2020 Updated: July 3, 2020

A Manitoba man who allegedly rammed his truck through a gate at Rideau Hall Thursday and was loose on the grounds with a gun is facing 22 criminal charges.

Corey Hurren, a 46-year-old member of the military and businessman, made his first court appearance by teleconference Friday afternoon, about 30 hours after he was arrested by RCMP less than 200 metres from the front door of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s current residence.

Hurren faces 22 charges, including one for uttering threats. The rest are all weapons charges, including two counts for possession of a restricted or prohibited gun, four counts for careless use, storage or handling of a firearm, and four counts for possessing a firearm for a dangerous purpose.

His lawyer, Michael Davies, asked for the case to be adjourned until July 17. Assistant Crown Attorney Meaghan Cunningham said the Crown opposes releasing Hurren and agreed to the adjournment.

Trudeau said Friday this is the kind of event nobody wants to happen, but was thankful it was resolved without anybody getting hurt.

At a press conference on Friday morning, Deputy Commissioner Mike Duheme said Hurren had “several weapons” on him including at least one gun, but that he was not known to RCMP prior to Thursday.

Duheme said Hurren drove a large pickup truck through Thomas Gate on the grounds of Rideau Hall at around 6:30 a.m. That’s a secondary entrance near the main gate to the grounds, wide enough to admit a vehicle but typically used only by pedestrians.

Hurren made it about 120 metres along a footpath in the truck before it became disabled and he abandoned it, Duheme said.

He then ran up a path, carrying what looked like a rifle, to Rideau Hall’s rose garden. He hid there for three minutes before continuing along footpaths to the greenhouses that are attached to the back of the residence where Gov. Gen. Julie Payette lives. 

A short path leads from the back of the greenhouses through a stand of trees to Rideau Cottage, which is the current residence of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family.

“I want to stress that there was never any danger to the prime minister and his family nor the governor general as neither were on the grounds at the time of the incident,” Duheme said.

Epoch Times Photo
A police officer stands by a fence outside Rideau Hall in Ottawa on July 2, 2020. The RCMP say they have safely resolved an “incident” at Rideau Hall, where Gov. Gen. Julie Payette and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau live. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

National Capital Commission staff noticed the abandoned truck and alerted the commissionaires, who spotted the man walking on the path toward the buildings while holding a gun. The RCMP security detail on the grounds spotted the suspect around 6:40 and a site-wide lockdown was ordered, but police did not confirm they had visual contact with the suspect until 6:43 a.m.

At 6:45 a.m. the officers began speaking to the man, Duheme said. The suspect did not respond until 6:53, giving police his name and some other information. The police and the suspect talked for an hour and 42 minutes before he was taken into custody at 8:29 a.m.

“I cannot emphasize enough how effective our members were in being vigilant, reacting quickly, and using successful de-escalation techniques to resolve this highly volatile incident swiftly and without injury to anyone,” Duheme said.

He said police have some idea of the motive for the events but will not speak about it publicly yet because of the ongoing investigation.

A chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear, and explosive weapons team was brought in to search the suspect’s vehicle as a precaution, he said.

According to Hurren’s LinkedIn account, he lives in the remote town of Bowsman in northern Manitoba, about 390 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg near the Saskatchewan border. He has owned a sausage-making business called GrindHouse Fine Foods since 2014.

The account also shows that Hurren is a member of Canadian Ranger in Swan River Patrol, a veteran from Royal Canadian Artillery, and a member of Bowsman Lions Club.

The town of Bowsman has a population of less than 300. The reeve of the town described Hurren as a “good community member” who is always friendly.

“When I walked by him, it was not just, ‘No answer,’ it was, ‘Hello, how are you doing today?'” Pacamaniuk told CBC.

Talking about what happened in Rideau Hall, Pacamaniuk said “We’re all a bit shocked that something happened in Ottawa.”

CBC cited a source saying Hurren had driven his truck from Manitoba some 2,000 kilometres all the way east to Ottawa. It’s unknown why he drove to Ottawa.

With files from The Canadian Press.