Armed man roamed Justin Trudeau's grounds for 13 minutes after ramming gates

Leyland Cecco in Toronto
·3-min read
<span>Photograph: Mohammed Kadri/AFP/Getty</span>
Photograph: Mohammed Kadri/AFP/Getty

Canadian police say the armed man who rammed a truck through the gates of the prime minister’s residence was loose for 13 minutes before authorities finally spotted him.

Media reports have identified the intruder as Corey Hurren, a reservist in the Canadian Rangers, a branch of the military that typically operates in remote and coastal regions.

Hurren, who police have not yet formally identified, would be charged with multiple offences on 3 July, the deputy commissioner, Mike Duheme, said.

At about 6:30 in the morning, Hurren allegedly used a black pickup truck to ram the iron gates of Rideau Hall in Ottawa, the sprawling property where both the prime minister and governor general live.

Police say the truck was “disabled” after hitting the gates, but still travelled more than 100 meters into the grounds.

Security footage shows Hurren, carrying a gun, then move towards a rose garden, where he briefly took shelter. Police finally intercepted him as he approached a greenhouse at the far edge of the grounds. They said they were able to have “dialogue” with Hurren, lasting more than an hour and a half, before arresting him.

Corey Hurren, who drove through gates of Canadian PM official residence
The alleged raider has been identified as Corey Hurren, who ran a sausage-making business. Photograph: Facebook

“There was never any danger to the prime minister and his family nor to the governor general, as neither were on the grounds at the time of the incident,” Duheme said. He said Hurren had several weapons with him.

Rideau Hall is the official residence of the governor general, Julie Payette, but Justin Trudeau and his family have been living at Rideau Cottage, in the grounds, during renovations to 24 Sussex, the prime minister’s official residence in Ottawa. According to maps of the area, Rideau Cottage is not far from the greenhouse.

Hurren, who is believed to have driven 1,900km (1,180 miles) from Manitoba to Ottawa, runs a small sausage-making business called GrindHouse Fine Foods. In May, he posted on Facebook that the coronavirus pandemic had taken a devastating toll on his business.

“I’m not sure what will be left of our economy, industries and businesses when this all ends,” he wrote.

A police dog searches a vehicle at Rideau Hall.
A police dog searches a vehicle at Rideau Hall. Photograph: Patrick Doyle/Reuters

An hour before entering the grounds of Rideau hall, GrindHouse Fine Foods posted a picture of an outdoor party that would occur after the lockdown, directing people to to look up “Event 201”. The reference was to a conspiracy theory that Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, was responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hurren’s company also posted a QAnon meme to Instagram in March, according to reporting from Vice News. “Has anyone else been following ‘Q’ and the ‘White Rabbit’ down the rabbit hole and how this all relates to the coronavirus/Covid-19 situation? Lots of coincidences in all these ‘Q’ posts if this turns out to be a ‘Nothingburger’,” the caption said.

Duheme said that after speaking to Hurren, police had a sense of his motives. He did not provide details and Hurren was not known to police at the time.

The 13 minutes in which an armed intruder roamed the grounds of the prime minister’s residence has raised questions about a major lapse in security. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police plans to conduct a review of the incident and increase security in the area.