US & Canada

Ottawa shooting: The victim and the sergeant-at-arms

Police continue to investigate at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada - 23 October 2014 Image copyright EPA

Canada is in shock after a gunman killed a soldier at an Ottawa war memorial and rampaged through Canada's parliament before being shot dead. The BBC profiles the soldier who was killed, and the sergeant-at-arms who stopped the gunman.

The victim: Cpl Nathan Cirillo

Cpl Nathan Cirillo, a soldier guarding the Ottawa war memorial, died from his injuries following the gun attack.

The 25-year-old, who had a six-year-old son, grew up in the Ontario city of Hamilton.

His classmates described him as "a real class clown" who "always wanted to serve his country".

Image copyright AP
Image caption Cpl Nathan Cirillo was a reservist with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

Friends said he had always wanted to join the military, and became a member of his local reservist regiment, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, while still a student.

Cpl Cirillo was a fitness instructor before he joined the military. He was also an animal lover, posting photos of his dogs on his Instagram account.

"He always had a smile on his face; he was always walking around giving people handshakes," his friend Peter DiBussolo told the Ottawa Citizen.

"He was an outgoing person; he knew how to have fun."

His aunt, who asked not to be named, told the Globe and Mail he was "into being fit. And being a father and son".

She added: "He was a wonderful young man. Not an enemy in the world."

Image copyright AP
Image caption Kevin Vickers is in charge of parliamentary security and was credited with shooting the attacker

Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers

Witnesses identified the parliamentary Sergeant-at-Arms, Kevin Vickers, as the man who shot dead the attacker.

Mr Vickers, 58, took up his role in 2006 after 29 years in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and a year as the head of security at the House of Commons.

His role involves "safeguarding the authority of the Houses of Commons" and "the safety and security of the Parliament buildings and their occupants".

At the time of Mr Vickers' appointment, he was praised for the "loyalty, distinction and honour" he had displayed in his career.

In his previous role with the RCMP he led several high-profile investigations, and was involved in the development of policies reaching out to leaders in Canada's Muslim community.

He also provided security for high-profile guests, including the Queen and Prince Andrew.

He last made headlines in 2011 when he supported the right of Sikhs to wear ceremonial daggers in the House of Commons.

After the gun attack on parliament, politician Glenn Thibeault described Mr Vickers as the "nicest guy you'll ever meet" and "our hero".

Mr Vickers' brother John told BBC Radio 5live's Breakfast: "With that event unfolding, he would be the man you would want to protect you. He's just an exemplary guy and we're very, very proud of him."

In a statement on Thursday, Mr Vickers said he was "very touched" by the attention given to him, but said he had the support of "a remarkable security team".

He said he was proud of the "professionalism and courage" of his colleagues during "extraordinary circumstances".

Tweets hail 'hero' Vickers

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