“It was a bit surreal to start with,” MP Zimmer recollects. “There’s blasting going on in the area [from construction], and once we heard the popping afterwards, we knew this was the real deal.”
And that’s when the eight hour lockdown initially commenced.
“We just got down, and some of us went to guard the doors to make sure he couldn’t get in… We just waited it out.”
MP Zimmer says he can’t give enough credit to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers for their heroic efforts.
“What Kevin did by finally killing the terrorist; had he not done that, who knows what would have happened?”
MP Zimmer adds of Cpl. Cirillo, “Here’s a guy guarding a cenotaph that’s commemorating fallen Canadian soldiers and somebody goes and kills him… [It’s] just such a despicable act.”
MP Zimmer is also crediting the responding officers for “an impeccable job in ensuring we were safe.”
MP Zimmer does however say he anticipates there’ll be some changes to security within Parliament Hill, but goes on to say it needs to strike the right balance in ensuring the federal government remains accessible.
“We still want to maintain that public access so they can approach us and talk to us… but it will have to be more secure for sure.”
MP Zimmer goes on to say, “There’s extremists in the nation and that’s a whole other question of ‘how do you deal with that?’”
MP Zimmer concludes by giving his utmost condolences to the Cirillo family.
“We can’t stand for it and we won’t; we’ll make sure justice is served.”