Canada: Man with knife arrested on Parliament Hill

24-year-old man arrested in Ottawa following what was described as an incident involving "a man with a knife" on Parliament Hill.

Elad Benari ,

Canadian Parliament
Canadian Parliament

A 24-year-old man was arrested in the Canadian capital Ottawa on Monday, following what was described as an incident involving "a man with a knife" on Parliament Hill during the Changing of the Guard ceremony, the CBC reported.

"An incident took place this morning at 10:15 on the lawns of Parliament Hill, during the Changing of the Guard parade," said a statement from the Department of National Defence.

"Due to the quick reaction of our soldiers, RCMP and Parliamentary Protective Services, the potential threat was identified and neutralized. No one was injured during this incident."

Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau said his team is still trying to piece together what happened.

"We responded and took over custody of a 24-year-old male who is presently in our cell block and we are conducting an investigation," he told reporters Monday afternoon, according to the CBC.

"I believe all the ceremonial guards have weapons like knives. I don't know if the suspect was armed, but I think those are the details that the investigation will determine exactly what took place," added Bordeleau.

The Changing the Guard takes place almost every morning on Parliament Hill from late June through late August.

The soldiers in the Ceremonial Guard are drawn from the Governor General's Foot Guards and the Canadian Grenadier Guard and are mostly university and college students who are reservists in the Canadian Forces.

The public duties of the Ceremonial Guard include protective detail at Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General of Canada.

Security on the Hill was increased after Michael Zehaf-Bibeau's shooting rampage in October of 2014, during which he managed to kill Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was standing guard at the war memorial.

Zehaf-Bibeau was eventually gunned down after making it into Centre Block.

The 2014 attack occurred just two days after a 25-year-old who converted to Islam rammed his car into two soldiers in the Quebec town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and was shot dead by police. One of the soldiers later died.

Monday’s incident occurred hours after a shooting in Greektown in downtown Toronto injured 14 people and killed a young woman.

One of the injured victims, a young girl, is in critical condition.

It is not clear what the shooter's motive was but he was killed in a gunfight with security forces.