Mom of Canada suspect: I cry for victims

2014-10-23 17:09
Several police officers walk near downtown Ottawa. (Lars Hagberg, AFP)

Several police officers walk near downtown Ottawa. (Lars Hagberg, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ottawa - The mother of the man accused of killing a soldier at Ottawa's war memorial then storming Parliament before being shot dead says she is crying for the victims of the shooting, not her son.

In a brief and tear-filled telephone interview with The Associated Press Thursday, Susan Bibeau said she did not know what to say to those hurt in the attack.

"Can you ever explain something like this?" she said. "We are sorry."

Investigators offered little information about the gunman in Ottawa, identified as 32-year-old petty criminal Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.

Canadian police conceded on Thursday that Zehaf-Bibeau was the lone gunman, the second attack in three days in what the prime minister described as terrorism.

The heart of the capital city of Ottawa had been in lock down after Wednesday's attack, with fears that other gunmen might be on the loose. Ottawa police Constable Marc Soucy confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday that police are satisfied there was one attacker.

Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that "there is no longer a threat to public safety."

The two attacks stunned Canadians and raised concerns their country was being targeted for reprisals for joining the US-led air campaign against the extremist Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the National War Memorial where the soldier was killed to lay a wreath.

Face half covered

Earlier, Harper called the shooting the country's second terrorist attack in three days. A man Harper described as an "ISIL-inspired terrorist" on Monday ran over two soldiers in a parking lot in Quebec, killing one and injuring another before being shot to death by police.

Like the suspect from Wednesday's shooting in Ottawa, he was a recent convert to Islam.

Witnesses said the soldier posted at the National War Memorial, identified as Cpl Nathan Cirillo, was gunned down at point-blank range by a man carrying a rifle and dressed all in black, his face half-covered with a scarf.

The gunman appeared to raise his arms in triumph, then entered Parliament, a few hundred yards away, where dozens of shots soon rang out, according to witnesses.

People fled the complex by scrambling down scaffolding erected for renovations, while others took cover inside as police with rifles and body armour took up positions outside and cordoned off the normally bustling streets around Parliament.

On Twitter, Canada's justice minister and other government officials credited 58-year-old sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers with shooting the attacker just outside the MPs' caucus rooms. Vickers serves a largely ceremonial role at the House of Commons, carrying a scepter and wearing rich green robes, white gloves and a tall imperial hat.

At least three people were treated for minor injuries.

In Washington, President Barack Obama condemned the shootings as "outrageous" and said: "We have to remain vigilant." The US Embassy in Ottawa was locked down as a precaution, and security was tightened at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery just outside Washington.

Harper vowed that the attacks will "lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts" to keep the country safe and work with Canada's allies to fight terrorists.

Court records that appear to be the gunman's show that he had a long rap sheet, with a string of convictions for assault, robbery, drug and weapons offences, and other crimes.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation had video of the gunman going to his car alone with his weapon after the shooting at the memorial. The car was later spotted parked in front of Parliament Hill, just down the block.

Read more on:    canada

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.