Canada gives ambassador post to official who killed gunman in parliament attack

Canada's Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers is applauded in the House of Commons in Ottawa, in this file photo taken Oct 23, 2014. He will be named ambassador to Ireland, the government announced on Thursday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Canada's Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers is applauded in the House of Commons in Ottawa, in this file photo taken Oct 23, 2014. He will be named ambassador to Ireland, the government announced on Thursday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

OTTAWA (AFP) - Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, who was hailed for stopping an assailant who stormed Canada's parliament in October, will be named ambassador to Ireland, the government announced Thursday.

Mr Vickers will fill a post vacated ion August by a former Conservative Cabinet minister in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government.

"Kevin Vickers has shown profound leadership and dedication to the security of Canada and its national institutions," Mr Harper said in a statement.

"His extensive experience working with parliament, as well as his bravery and integrity, will serve to deepen close bilateral relations between Canada and Ireland in the years ahead."

The 58-year-old former mountie - known for carrying a ceremonial golden mace and wearing a bicorne hat and tail coat - fired the shots that brought the October rampage to an end.

It was reportedly the first time he had ever shot anyone.

The attacker had already shot a security guard in the leg, exchanged gunfire with federal police and ran down the main Hall of Honour towards the library, where he took cover in an alcove next to Mr Vickers' office.

Mr Vickers reportedly emerged with a handgun he had retrieved from a lockbox in his office, threw himself to the ground to present a smaller target, and shot the assailant three times.

Video images showed the 198cm-tall Mr Vickers afterwards calmly walking back to his office, his automatic pistol still in his hand.