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Man charged after Edmonton City Hall shooting, police investigating link to video

EDMONTON — A man is facing seven charges after shots were fired and a Molotov cocktail was thrown at Edmonton City Hall.

Police say they are also looking into a possible link between Tuesday's shooting and a social media video in which a man makes a series of rambling complaints about society before embarking on an unspecified "mission."

The charges against 28-year-old Bezhani Sarvar include arson, possessing incendiary materials and discharging a firearm into a building.

Police Chief Dale McFee has said a heavily armed man entered through the city hall parkade and fired shots with a long gun that could fire multiple rounds quickly, shattering glass and puncturing ceilings and walls.

The man also lit several small incendiary devices, one of which caused a small fire outside an elevator, police said.

"The male then dropped the firearm on the floor and surrendered to a city hall security commissionaire, who detained him until police arrived moments later," police said Wednesday in a release.

The building was full of people at the time, including a class of Grade 1 students, but no injuries were reported.

City police and RCMP tactical teams spent several hours securing and clearing the building, escorting out citizens who had been sheltering in various locations.

McFee said the man acted alone, and officers are trying to determine a motive.

Police are working with RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams partners on the investigation, McFee said in the release.

“Our officers are working closely with our national security partners on this investigation,” he said.

“We believe there is no further threat to public safety at this time. The investigation is in its early stages, and we will continue to update Edmontonians as it progresses.”

In connection with the investigation, police said they are reviewing a video circulating on social media.

In the video, a man wearing what appears to be a commissionaire's jacket sits dimly lit behind the wheel of vehicle.

He speaks of his "mission" to fight tyranny and corruption in society. The four-minute speech, delivered calmly and dispassionately, criticizes inflation, expensive housing, multiculturalism, "wokeism," the fighting in Gaza, immigration, bullying, racism and genocide.

The man encourages everyone to have a healthy social life, eat healthy and get exercise. He identifies himself as a husband and a father.

He closes the video with the words "Salaam Alaikum," a Muslim greeting meaning peace.

A bail hearing is scheduled for Sarvar on Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Jan. 24, 2024.

Bob Weber, The Canadian Press