TORONTO: In the 2 July incident, the suspect, Corey Hurren, crashed his pickup truck into the main gate leading to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s estate, only to be arrested shortly afterwards, with officials not elaborating on the man’s motives.
The perpetrator who allegedly rammed his truck through a gate on the grounds of Rideau Estate, where Justin Trudeau has been residing with his family since 2015, has been charged with threatening to kill or injure Canada’s Prime Minister, reports CTV News.
According to released court documents, the suspect, Manitoba resident Corey Hurren, a reservist in the Canadian Rangers, allegedly had with him a prohibited M-14 rifle, which he had a license for, plus two shotguns and a revolver made by Hi-Standard. Documents state he did not possess a license for the latter.
Hurren, 45, is said to have been on full-time duty, in line with a coronavirus pandemic response programme.
The suspect in the 2 July incident has also been charged with possessing a prohibited high-capacity magazine without a license for it.
Besides the 21 weapons charges, the military reservist is also accused of threatening to “cause death or bodily harm” to Justin Trudeau.
In the incident on 2 July Corey Hurren is believed to have driven from Manitoba to Ottawa and crashed his truck through the gate leading to the grounds of Rideau Hall, the official residence of the governor general, Julie Payette, at 6.30 a.m. on Thursday.
Justin Trudeau and his family have been residing on the grounds, at Rideau Cottage, during renovations to the Canadian Prime Minister’s official residence in Ottawa.
Upon impact with the iron gates, the suspect’s truck was disabled, damaging the front-end and deploying the vehicle’s airbags.
Hurren allegedly hid in a rose garden before proceeding toward a greenhouse not far from Rideau Cottage.
It is maintained that it was not until 13 minutes after Hurren supposedly breached the gates that police took note of him, seemingly carrying a gun.
While questions have since been reportedly asked regrading a possible lapse in security, RCMP Deputy Commissioner Mike Duheme was quoted as saying that initially an attempt was made to “de-escalate” the situation.
“Visual contact was made at 6:43 a.m., verbal contact was made at 6:45 a.m. and a discussion ensued at 6:53 a.m. I have to highlight from 6:53 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., there was constant dialogue with an individual who was carrying a weapon,” said Duheme.
According to the RCMP, the suspect was arrested “without incident”.
Neither Justin Trudeau nor Julie Payette were present on the grounds at the time of the incident.
There was never any danger to the Prime Minister and his family, nor to the Governor General,” Duheme was cited as adding.
During a COVID-19 press briefing, Justin Trudeau offering his gratitude to the police over their response to the incident.
“Obviously this was something that nobody wants to hear, but I want to thank the extraordinary members of the police services and the RCMP who did their job and nobody was hurt, nobody was injured.”
According to RCMP Deputy Commissioner Mike Duheme, the police had not been aware of or monitoring Hurren before the developments on 2 July.
The RCMP have not yet offered any details shedding light on the motivation behind the incident. Corey Hurren is to remain in custody until his next scheduled court appearance on 17 July.
Hurren, who resides in Bowsman, a small municipality some 400 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, worked at a community grocery store in west-central Manitoba and operated GrindHouse Fine Foods, which he started in 2014, according to a LinkedIn account registered to him.
The man had reportedly earlier made Facebook posts about his hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, making a reference to a conspiracy theory that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was responsible for the coronavirus pandemic.