Kevin Vickers, sergeant-at-arms, meets with Israeli lawmakers, PM
Vickers shot Michael Zehaf-Bibeau on Oct. 22 after the gunman stormed Parliament Hill
Kevin Vickers, the sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons who just weeks ago played a major role in stopping a gunman on Parliament Hill, was recognized today by members of Israel's parliament, the Knesset.
Vickers was at the Knesset to meet with security officials, but also made a stop inside the parliamentary chamber. Israeli lawmakers took a break from debating a bill to welcome Vickers and the rest of the Canadian delegation.
"In the name of the Knesset, I would like to welcome you, the representatives of one of Israel's closest friends," said Ruth Calderon, a member of the Knesset. "We have a longtime friendship and mutual values, among them, freedom, democracy and the fight against terror. Welcome."
Vickers also met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"This terror attack in Ottawa proves, once again, that Islamic radical terrorism has no limits and respects no borders," Netanyahu said in a statement. "Israel and Canada stand side-by-side in the international effort to eliminate terrorism."
As part of his time in Israel, Vickers attended a security conference in Tel Aviv on the weekend — a trip planned long before the shootings in Ottawa.
Stopping gunman 'a real team effort': Vickers
On Oct. 22, Vickers, 58, shot Michael Zehaf-Bibeau after Zehaf-Bibeau gunned down a soldier at the National War Memorial and entered the Centre Block of Parliament. Cpl. Nathan Cirillo died later that day.
Asked by CBC Middle East bureau chief Derek Stoffel how it feels to be considered a hero by many Canadians, Vickers was humble.
"It's not the honour that I'm here for," Vickers said. "I'm here for a homeland security conference and to visit my colleague the sergeant-at-arms.
"And once again the only real thing that I continue to emphasize to everyone is that the incident that occurred on Oct. 22nd was magnificently handled by a complete team effort, by House of Commons security services, which I'm exceptionally proud of to be a part of, and our security partners, the Ottawa city police and the RCMP."