Lone Gunman Responsible for Deadly Shooting Attack in Ottawa
Police now say only one gunman was responsible for the shooting attack yesterday that shutdown most of downtown Ottawa and left one soldier dead.
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the 32-year-old Canadian identified as the shooter, has a criminal record stretching back at least to 2001. From the Toronto Star:
In a one-month period between Nov. 20 and Dec. 15, 2001, he received an absolute discharge for credit card fraud in Montreal and fines for drunk driving in Mont-Tremblant and assault in Laval.
In March 2003, he was sentenced to three months in prison for theft and another six months for possession of a dangerous weapon in Saint-Jérôme, north of Montreal. In 2004, he received another brief jail term to escaping custody twice and possession of marijuana and PCP. In mid 2005 and again in 2006, he was charged with marijuana possession in Montreal, for which he received first a small fine and, on the second occasion, another absolute discharge.
Zehaf-Bibeau was also charged with robbery in 2011 and pleaded guilty to "uttering a threat," as Brian Anderson, the lawyer who defended him then, put it.
The Globe and Mail reports that Zehaf-Bibeau had plans to study Islam and Arabic this year in Libya—where he'd previously spent time—but was unable to secure the proper paperwork. His father, Belgasem Zahef, a Quebec businessman, reportedly fought with rebels in Libya in 2011. His mother is the deputy chair of a division of Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board.
One of Zehaf-Bibeau's friends, Dave Batburst, told the Globe and Mail that he believed Bibeau was mentally unwell.
"We were having a conversation in a kitchen, and I don't know how he worded it: He said the devil is after him," Mr. Bathurst said in an interview. He said his friend frequently talked about the presence of Shaytan in the world – an Arabic term for devils and demons. "I think he must have been mentally ill."