• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

'You are so loved': Ottawa lawyer describes trying to save Cpl. Nathan Cirillo

The mother of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and his regiment, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada issued a public thank-you to the city that adopted a family and Cirillo's son in the wake of the soldier's death last October.

The note comes six months after the Ottawa shooting and a day ahead of the special ceremony at the armoury Saturday— to be attended buy Cathy Cirillo—in which the Argylls will be presented with a battle honour for their efforts in Afghanistan.

I know media reports don't always have the WHOLE story, but can anyone closer to the situation cast some light on this?
Elected officials are invited to all kinds of public ceremonies., but they can’t possibly attend all of them. CHCH reporter Scot Urquhart attended the “Support Our Troops” ceremony in Hamilton (yesterday - 3 Jun 2015) and reports on an unusual absence of politicians present for the ceremony.

The ceremony is an annual event to recognize, and show support for, the seven different military units that call Hamilton home. This year however, it was a little bit special as Hamilton Police Chief Glen DeCaire notes. “The targeted murders of two Canadian soldiers, unarmed, and simply doing their duty has changed the security environment here at home.”

This year, the ceremony was to honour Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. To recognize both the soldier, and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders as “Hamilton’s citizen of the year”…and to support his family members. It was an emotional moment.

And many came to be a part of it. Soldiers, sailors, UN peacekeepers…decorated war veteran and police officers. Even the North Wall Riders, a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who support military veterans.

But, not a single politician, was on hand. Not the mayor, not Lloyd Ferguson, the chair of the Police Services Board. Not Terry Whitehead, who is a police services board members. No one from council, or even a provincial MPP.

Instead, civilian Vice Chair Madeleine Levy, represented the board.

When asked at City Hall about the absences, staff said they had not seen Councillor Ferguson that morning. Councillor Whitehead’s staff said he had not been invited to the event.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger would not come out of a council meeting to give a comment about his absence.
milnews.ca said:
I know media reports don't always have the WHOLE story, but can anyone closer to the situation cast some light on this?WTF?

In their defense, I personally learned of the event, after the fact, via the CHCH website while looking for another segment**. Nothing came down through the unit. If the politicians were given the same notice, you can't really hold it against them.

**They recently did a one hour interview with Nathan's mother, at Vimy Ridge. It aired last week, and will again this weekend, and then is supposed to be available on their website in short order. You may be interested in that.
toughenough said:
In their defense, I personally learned of the event, after the fact, via the CHCH website while looking for another segment**. Nothing came down through the unit. If the politicians were given the same notice, you can't really hold it against them.
Good point - if the unit got little/no notice, it may be that the others got the same amount of (lack of) notice.  Thanks for that.

toughenough said:
**They recently did a one hour interview with Nathan's mother, at Vimy Ridge. It aired last week, and will again this weekend, and then is supposed to be available on their website in short order. You may be interested in that.
I'll keep my eye open, but if you spot a link sooner, don't be shy about sharing it here.
I was there on parade for the event and have attended for a number of years now.  It is a bit of a quiet event, low attendance, on the front yard of Hamilton Police Services.  And this may sound bad but I don't WANT any politico's there.  Its about Hamilton Police connecting with the CAF and running a support our troop BBQ.  No need for more useless speeches IMHO.
If its an annual event then the politicians no doubt know about it and the excuse that its a "low key affair" doesn't wash with me when you take into account the events of the last year. 

I subscribe to the PMs newsletter and I usually get something in my email every day or so.  Most of the time it goes right to the trash but every now and then I see something that catches my eye.  Just today actually there was a publicity notice for the Economic Action Plan of 2015 and some financial increases for various government departments.  ( http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2015/06/04/pm-announces-new-measures-better-ensure-security-canadians ) One line at the top of the announcement read "Our Government knows that the highest calling of any government is to ensure the safety and security of its citizens.". 

I guess that only holds true when its not a low key affair with little to no chances of a photo op or for the announcement of some procurement project that is doomed to be delayed until costs rise to the point where the project is cut.
Six honoured for helping Cpl. Nathan Cirillo during Parliament Hill shootings


Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.

6 honoured for helping Cpl. Nathan Cirillo during Parliament Hill shootings
St. John Ambulance presents medals to passersby who rushed to aid of wounded serviceman
CBC News Posted: Jun 20, 2015 4:28 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 21, 2015 10:02 AM ET

The six passersby who rushed to the aid of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo after a gunman opened fire at the National War Memorial on Oct. 22 were honoured by St. John Ambulance for their bravery at a special ceremony on Parliament Hill this afternoon.

Each received the Gold Life-saving Medal of the Order of St. John from the first-aid training organization for their combined efforts to compress Cirillo's wounds, perform CPR and offer him comfort in his final moments as he lay bleeding on the cenotaph. They are:

  -  Barbara Winters, a lawyer and former naval reservist.
  -  Margaret Lerhe, a nurse with Doctors Without Borders.
  -  Martin Magnan, Veterans Affairs press secretary.
​  -  Master Cpl. Anthony Wiseman.
​  -  Master Cpl. Kyle Button, the third, roving sentry on Oct. 22.
  -  Col. Conrad Mialkowski.

Ahead of the ceremony in the Senate chambers, Winters said she was "delighted" to be receiving the medal.

"The thing St. John teaches us is to not be afraid, to not doubt yourself," she said. "That even with first aid or even if you don't have first aid, to try to go to somebody's assistance, to even just hold their hand, or talk to them, or give them a blanket or touch them and let them know they're not alone."

Magnan said the honour was bittersweet.

"It's an unusual mixed bag of feelings. If the outcome had been different, I'd be much more pleased," he said.

Lerhe said the group of six have grown very close since they met at the cenotaph in the chaos of the shooting.

"Now we're a team. We call ourselves Team Nathan," she said.

'Glad that we could be there'

Cirillo was shot in the back three times while standing ceremonial guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier along with Cpl. Branden Stevenson. Stevenson tried to chase gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who ran to his car and drove to Parliament Hill, where he was shot dead as he continued his attack inside Centre Block.

Button, who was on ceremonial guard as a rover, was the first to reach Cirillo and begin first aid.

"That's when I started yelling for help," he said. "They all came and helped. Everyone came together as a group and did what we could."

Winters previously told CBC Radio's As It Happens that she tried to comfort Cirillo as others worked to save his life.

"I told him he was loved. And that he was brave. And that he was a good man," Winters said in tears.

Cirillo died in hospital. Now whenever Winters passes by the cenotaph, she said she stops to have a moment for Cirillo.

"He is the hero of this story and I think all of us were just glad that we could be there in whatever small capacity that we were. We were glad to be there for his last moments and I think all of us have him in our hearts and in our minds and will probably think of little else today," she said.

St. John Ambulance also honoured 18 volunteers for their "contributions to the charitable work of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem."

The medal ceremony followed an earlier service of remembrance at the National War Memorial in honour of Canadian veterans. Four of the six Gold Life-saving Medal recipients attended the first ceremony, as well.

Video and more on LINK.
BRAVO ZULU to all of those being honoured.

You did your best, and in spite of the final outcome, Cpl. Cirillo couldn't have asked any more of you than what you did.

French tourist photographed the Parliament Hill attack.

Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.

‘He looked me straight in the eyes’: The story of how a French tourist photographed the Parliament Hill attack
Shaamini Yogaretnam, Postmedia News | October 2, 2015 8:35 PM ET

By the time reports began to emerge about a shooting at the National War Memorial last Oct. 22, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was lying by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier dying in a pool of his own blood, and the troubled Muslim convert Michael Zehaf-Bibeau had taken his rampage to Parliament Hill.

Many Canadians have seen the CCTV footage of Zehaf-Bibeau’s dash onto the Hill, his hijacking of a car, and his measured jog up the steps into Centre Block, rifle in hand. And we have seen the cellphone video shot by Zehaf-Bibeau himself as he sat in his car, preparing to bring Islamic terrorism to the capital.

I took two pictures of him killing Nathan Cirillo

But we know relatively little of what actually happened at the War Memorial. Until now, the only image of the attacker seen by the public was a single, grainy photograph of Zehaf-Bibeau with a scarf around his face, holding his rifle and staring straight into the camera, with the distinctive stonework of the memorial behind him.

Since then, questions have persisted about who took the photo, when it was taken and how it made its way onto social media even as the police were still hunting what they believed was a second shooter somewhere in the downtown core.

The Citizen has obtained a series of photographs, spanning a period of less than two minutes, that show the terrible drama of the shooting at the War Memorial, including the last known photograph of Cpl. Cirillo taken before Zehaf-Bibeau started firing seconds later.

These photos are not the work of a professional photographer, nor are they grabbed from security camera footage. Instead, they were taken by a French visitor as he waited with his wife to hop on a tour bus. From the first casual snapshots of the Memorial to the deliberate photographs of a killer in action, these shocking images fill in important gaps in the record. They help us track Zehaf-Bibeau’s movements and actions at the War Memorial, hint at Cirillo’s desperate attempt to flee his killer and show the first frantic efforts of passersby to save his life.

The country’s first look at home-grown terrorist Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, shared initially on social media in the hours after the attack while police were still trying to determine how many active shooters they were seeking, appeared to show him in the act of gunning down Cpl. Nathan Cirillo on Oct. 22, 2014.

His focused eyes stared directly at the camera

A scarf covered his face, he was holding a rifle and the stonework behind him looked familiar, as if it could be part of the National War Memorial. But where in fact was he? Who took the picture and when? And how did it find its way onto social media after the shooting?

As a country grappled with what was happening in the capital, that heavily-zoomed, grainy and cropped picture emerged in a cloud of confusion that swirled from jihadi propaganda to conspiracy theory to silence from official law enforcement. Before police would even release the dead gunman’s name, the world knew what he looked like.

At the time, police sources told the Citizen a French tourist visiting Ottawa had taken the photograph. After a lengthy search, the Citizen found that man and has exclusively obtained the original photographs he took that day.

Together with his account of what happened, they show not the accidental snaps of a fumbling tourist but the intentional and deliberate acts of a man who knew something horrible was happening and was determined to document it.

Jean Paul and his wife were visiting Canada for 32 days in the fall of 2014, touring Quebec City, Gaspésie and the Saguenay before ending up in Ottawa. Jean Paul, who has asked the Citizen to use only his first name, is 63 and recently retired.

The morning of Oct. 22, Jean Paul, his wife, her sister and her husband, had purchased tickets for a city bus tour. The tour departed from Sparks Street at 10 a.m. and the group was nearly a half hour early. And so, only because they were nearby, they walked over to the National War Memorial, where two ceremonial guards were standing duty.

“All four of us were on the square,” Jean Paul told the Citizen in an interview conducted in French and that has been translated for print. “We were taking pictures. I moved a bit closer than them to take pictures, a bit closer to the guards and particularly the commemorative plaque on the Memorial.”

Jean Paul and his companions saw a man approach, as if from nowhere, with what he described as a “hood” over his face. He approached from the west side of the cenotaph, from the rear. Rifle pointed, the gunman fired once, then again.

“I realized that this wasn’t a movie, that it was really an attack.”

It was then that Jean Paul began taking pictures of Zehaf-Bibeau.

The succession of photographs tells the story of a quiet morning rapidly turned violent. First, the Frenchman captured the last known picture of Cirillo before being shot as he stood as sentry along with his friend and fellow soldier, Cpl. Branden Stevenson.

Then, just 12 seconds after that photo was taken, Jean Paul captures Zehaf-Bibeau with the barrel of his Winchester sporting rifle aimed downward at Cirillo, who is out of the picture, as he fires at the soldier. Cirillo’s unloaded rifle, carried by all ceremonial guards, lies abandoned at the foot of the Memorial.

“I took two pictures of him killing Nathan Cirillo,” Jean Paul said.

“I saw him with my own eyes shoot at Nathan Cirillo and his colleague next to him.”

Two seconds later, with his rifle still raised, though now level, Zehaf-Bibeau sees Jean Paul taking his picture.

“He looked me straight in the eyes. And he raised his rifle and yelled: ‘This is for Iraq.’ And then he ran off, he ran behind. He ran off and headed for the Parliament.”

It is this picture, closely cropped, that would become the world’s first frenzied look at the gunman. The grainy zoomed-in photograph, disseminated online with no identifying markings, is part of a larger image that clearly places Zehaf-Bibeau in between the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the cenotaph, its granite base behind him and the unmistakeable dates “1914-1918” over top of his head. Just 44 seconds after making eye contact with Zehaf-Bibeau, and less than a minute after Cirillo and Stevenson first heard gunshots, Jean Paul takes a picture as military staff and bystanders come to the fallen soldier’s aid. Zehaf-Bibeau, at this point, has left the War Memorial and is in the process of storming Parliament Hill.

The image of Zehaf-Bibeau that began circulating online six hours after the shooting appeared to be a picture of a picture – a cellphone taking a picture from a camera’s display screen. The image was brought to wide public attention by a pro-ISIL Twitter account after it had allegedly already appeared in what Internet sleuths claimed was a tweet directed to the Ottawa Police Service’s official account. The Citizen has never verified the existence of that tweet to the police account. Many assumed, in those early moments, that a supporter of Zehaf-Bibeau, perhaps even an accomplice, had taken the picture and released it to the Internet using tactics familiar to jihadi sympathizers.

Yet, it was Jean Paul who captured those moments.

He wasn’t deterred after seeing and hearing the gunfire and witnessing a man’s murder.

“For me, it was very important to capture this very serious time.”

As onlookers began gathering around the mortally wounded soldier, Jean Paul walked over to an Ottawa police officer and told him he had taken pictures of what had just happened. Another officer who was called over took his camera and looked at the pictures.

“He wanted to know exactly who it was, how,” Jean Paul said.

The camera, and all four tourists, were taken to police headquarters on Elgin Street. Four officers individually questioned each member of the group.

“We swore on the Bible that we were telling the truth, nothing but the truth.”

Police returned the camera to him but not before retrieving the images, one of which was forwarded to the entire police email distribution list. It’s believed that several Ottawa police employees forwarded a zoomed-in picture of the gunman to civilian email addresses. The leak of the photo onto the Internet is believed to have originated from law enforcement sources, but it’s not clear whether it was Ottawa police, OPP, RCMP or one of the other forces in Canada or the United States who had access to the photograph that started the chain that led to it being posted online.

Ottawa police conducted an internal investigation and found that no officer forwarded the email that contained the image, but three civilians did. Those civilian employees were quietly and informally disciplined for the breach, discipline that ranged from a verbal reprimand to a two-day suspension.

Jean Paul refused interview requests that morning as reporters and cameramen began descending on the scene. It didn’t feel right to him to commercially exploit the fact that someone was killed in front of him.

He has agreed to release the photos now, nearly a year after the attack, to help answer questions that remain unanswered about that day. At his request, the Citizen has made a donation to the memorial trust fund for Cirillo’s young son Marcus.

Their experience that morning is a tie that now binds Jean Paul, his wife, her sister and their brother-in-law, he said.

“That was for us a certain moment that was very, very, very hard to digest.”

Jean Paul was in Valencia, Spain in March, continuing his travels, when fireworks pierced the night air. He called it a “complicated” feeling for himself. The sounds of that morning repeat in his life – he lives in the country where hunting is common and whenever he hears what could be a gunshot, he’s triggered.

It was very important to capture this very serious time

“It’s a memory that remains present in the mind.”

Months after the October 22 shooting, jihadists carried out an attack at Charlie Hebdo offices in France.

“All that brought back very difficult moments for us,” Jean Paul said. “And for the Canadian people. Because it’s terrorism. It’s terrorism pure and simple.”

“We will be thinking very, very much about the Canadian people on October 22, that’s clear.”

More photos, timelines and diagrams on LINK.
cupper said:
BRAVO ZULU to all of those being honoured.

You did your best, and in spite of the final outcome, Cpl. Cirillo couldn't have asked any more of you than what you did.


As Cupper said.

May 12, 2016

Eight Ottawa paramedics, including a superintendent and the chief of paramedics, are receiving bravery awards from the province for their response to the shootings at Parliament Hill and the National War Memorial in 2014.