Last month the people of Canada witnessed a potentially-catastrophic national tragedy unfold on national television when a psychotic, mentally-unstable chunk of human garbage carried a loaded rifle into the House of Commons in Ottawa and randomly opened fire on everything in sight like a fucking asshole. Typically speaking, heroism in the midst of extreme fucked-up horrible shit isn’t the sort of thing I typically like to write about on this website. I purposely avoid it, not just because the research is heartbreaking, but also because it’s hard to write and upbeat and energetic piece when you’re talking about innocent people dying horrible deaths for no good reason.
However, in the case of the October 22, 2014 attack on Canadian Parliament, the unstoppable adamantium-plated hero-balls of Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers single-handedly prevented such a situation in what has to be one of the most badass gunfight situations of the modern era: This hard-as-nails Canadian Jack Bauer meets Max Payne fucking took out a wannabe spree-killing mass-murderer half his age by diving out from behind a pillar in an old cathedral-style stone hallway Bullet Time-style and capping the dude mid-air at point-blank range like something out of a John Woo wet dream. He did this at the age of 58, which would still probably make him one of the younger members of the Expendables cast whenever Stallone finally gets around to including him in one of those movies.
Kevin Vickers was born in New Brunswick, a province located somewhere in Canada probably, and spent the last three goddamn decades working as an officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. And while you and me might like to think of the Mounties as those dudes in the Pharrell hats and red coats who ride mooses and get their picture printed on the side of maple syrup containers, the modern-day RCMP wears hardcore body armor, has its own SWAT-style Tactical Response Team, and is responsible for taking down thugs ranging from Russian mobsters and al-Qaida affiliated terror suspects to brutal rapists and convicted murderers. Guys like Kevin Vickers manually pull the heads off of meth dealers and assault rifle-toting heroin traffickers from the Klondike to the Bay of Fundy, so you can keep your lame dead-horse “Canadians all have mullets and play ice hockey” stereotypes to yourself.
When Officer Mountie Vickers wasn’t tracking violent fugitives through knee-deep snow far in the sub-zero Canadian wilderness, clubbing jaywalkers in the back of the head with a full-size replica of the Stanley Cup, or kicking in the doors of scuzzy back-alley Ontario crackhouses with his well-polished knee-high boots, this guy also earned the respect of the First Nations (this is what you call American Indians when they’re Canadian) for being cool to them while resolving a hardcore fishing-rights dispute that had erupted into nasty violence in the early 2000s. A dude who was well-known for being chill with pretty much everyone around him that wasn’t actively in the process of breaking the law, Vickers was also given an award by the Association of Progressive Muslims of Canada for his “bias-free policing” and by the World Sikh Organization for letting members of their faith wear the kirpan dagger into the Houses of Parliament (probably because armed people in Parliament apparently don’t pose much of a threat to this dude).
Vickers’ early career.
After 28 years of hardcore front-line experience bagging punks across Canada, in 2005 Vickers was appointed to the prestigious post of Sergeant-at-Arms of the Canadian House of Commons. There have only been nine of these guys in history, but the post is so badass that Vickers is actually the second Sergeant-at-Arms I’ve written about (the first was David Vivian Currie). At Sergeant-at-Arms, Vickers’ primary responsibility is to maintain security for the entire legislative body of Canada, including the Prime Minister (and the Queen when she’s in town), and his secondary job is the task of wearing a cool-ass hatt and carrying the ceremonial mace (the representation of the Queen’s power in Canada) into the Chamber before Parliamentary meetings. If this doesn’t sound like that cool of a job, you should know that one time some MP grabbed the mace when he wasn’t supposed to and everyone got so fucking pissed about this act of treason that the government declared he couldn’t be re-elected to office until he publicly apologized to the people of Canada for being such a raging asshole.
Like a true stone-faced badass, over the course of his nine-year tenure Vickers never spoke in session and never gave an interview to the media until this shit went down last month. When he was recently asked about getting the job, he said that in his interview he told the Prime Minister, “If you make me your sergeant at arms, there will be no walls built around Canada’s Parliamentary buildings.”
It was a claim he didn’t have a problem backing up. Because when shit went down, this guy and his oversized-mace-sized ballsack were all the security the government needed.
This would be a sweet weapon in a
Dynasty Warriors game.
On the morning of Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014, a mentally-unstable 32 year-old man came to the unconscionable conclusion that he was going to walk into the middle of downtown Ottawa with an old-school lever-action Winchester and open fire. I’ve chosen not to name him here, mostly because I don’t believe people like this deserve to have their names mentioned in the same breath as the heroes who stop them.
For whatever reason, this jackass brought his rifle to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, shot and killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a 25 year-old veteran from the Argyll and Southerland Highlanders Regiment and all-around stand-up guy who had been posted there as an honor guard, and then ran across the street towards the main building of the Canadian House of Commons.
As this maniac ran towards the front doors of the government building, he was immediately confronted by Samearn Son – a hardcore fearless dude and 10-year veteran Parliamentary guard. Son screamed that there was a gun, alerting the people inside as to what was going on, and then heroically ran up and grabbed the shooter’s rifle like something out of a Terminator movie. The gunman managed to crank off a round while wrestling for the gun, and the bullet hit Son in the foot, causing him to lose his grip on the rifle.
Determined to bring out a senseless bloodbath, this motherfucker next ran into the main hallway of the House of Commons, firing large-caliber rifle rounds through thankfully-locked and barricaded doors into rooms where the Canadian Prime Minister and other high-ranking MPs were hiding. He then exchanged gunfire with the security team on site before running into the Hall of Honor, taking cover behind a bulletproof stone wall, and reloading his weapon.
At the other end of the Hall, Canadian Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, wearing his full-on work tuxedo, opened the lock box in his office, withdrew a 9mm pistol, racked the slide, and started cooly walking towards the sounds of gunfire.
This place might as well have doves flying around it
because JOHN WOO SHIT is about to go down.
Members of Vickers’ security team gave him a heads-up that the shooter was hiding in there, but he told them to stay back while he handled shit. Moving stealthily up through the hallway, pistol at the ready, he moved towards the concealed shooter’s position. Then, when he was taking cover behind a pillar just more than an arm’s reach away, he saw it:
The tip of the Winchester’s barrel, peeking out from behind the stone wall.
Kevin Vickers took one step, dove sideways, spun on his back-mid air, and fired three rounds before he’d even hit the ground.
I don’t really know what was going through the shooter’s mind, but my guess is probably that the last fucking thing he expected was to see a white-haired ex-Mountie with glasses in a full fucking tuxedo come flying in Max Payne style out of nowhere and barrel roll in front of him with a gun blazing. He was shot multiple times, fell, and then Vickers plugged him a couple more times from the prone position just to be sure. As security teams swarmed over the body of the dead gunman, Vickers calmly got back to his feet, and walked to his office to reload his pistol (in case there were more than one shooter).
Someone snapped this picture of him on the way:
Which is like the British/Canadian version of this:
After single-handedly bringing down a potential spree-killer, Kevin Vickers went in to the caucus room to check on the Prime Minister and let him know shit had been handled. Then he called his mom to tell her he was ok because she was watching it on the news and was probably freaked out.
Kevin Vickers went right back to work the next day, because real badasses don’t take fucking Annual Leave just because they mid-air bullet time shot a first-degree murderer in the face at point-blank range.
When he brought his mace to the House of Commons, the entire Parliament gave him an extended standing ovation for literally saving all of their lives from a homicidal maniac.
As usual, he didn’t say anything.
10 Things You Should Know
Globe & Mail