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Edmonton City Hall shooter was 'heavily armed,' police chief says

EDMONTON — The police chief of Alberta's capital says a heavily armed man allegedly acted alone Tuesday when he entered city hall, fired shots and threw a Molotov cocktail from the building's second floor.

Dale McFee told reporters a man entered through the Edmonton City Hall parkade and fired shots with a long gun that could fire multiple rounds, shattering glass in the building.

McFee said he then created a small fire outside the elevator.

The chief said an unarmed security guard acted quickly to detain a suspect before police arrived minutes after officers were called.

“His actions were above and beyond and for that we are grateful,” McFee said of the security guard.

He said there is no longer a threat to public safety and no one was injured.

“I don't want to minimize the impact this has for those who were present at city hall today, including a class of Grade 1 students,” he said.

“Active shooter events like this have lasting effects on our community. And in the days that come, we'll be working closely with our partners to navigate that.”

McFee said police continue to investigate the suspect’s motive.

Police have not yet released his name and plan to lay charges, McFee said.

City councillors and Mayor Amarjeet Sohi had been at a scheduled meeting of the emergency advisory committee when the shooting happened.

Loud bangs can be heard in video footage of the meeting, before people are told to go to a safe location.

In a video statement posted online, Sohi thanked city hall security and emergency crews for their work.

He urged staff working at city hall to seek support if they are feeling traumatized.

"I know many Edmontonians will be shocked by the news of this event and I share those feelings," the mayor said.

"I'm proud that Edmonton City Hall has been an open and welcoming space for decades and I'm confident that it will continue to be."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Jan. 23, 2024.

The Canadian Press