A man facing six weapons charges after a gun was fired and a Molotov cocktail was ignited in Edmonton city hall is to have a bail hearing next week.
Bezhani Sarvar, 28, made his first court appearance Thursday by video from the Edmonton Remand Centre’s maximum security unit.
Police have said a heavily armed man entered city hall Tuesday through an underground parkade, fired a gun and lit several small incendiary devices, which caused a small fire outside an elevator.
Although the bullets shattered glass and punctured ceilings and walls, no one was hurt.
The man then dropped the firearm on the floor and surrendered to a city hall security commissionaire, who detained him until police arrived.
“One of our employees on site was involved in detaining the armed individual and went above and beyond his normal duties as a commissionaire,” said an email from Nick Grimshaw, CEO of the Canadian Corps of Commissionaires.
“We are very proud of him and thank him for taking such bold and brave action to protect the public.”
Grimshaw said the commissionaire has been an employee for nearly a year and is a seven-year veteran of the Canadian Forces, having served with the infantry.
The company said Sarvar was also one of its employees.
“He had been employed by commissionaires since 2019 and was assigned to a variety of locations within the Edmonton area, but was never assigned to the security detail at city hall,” Grimshaw said in an email.
He said the company is co-operating with the investigation and will participate in any review resulting from it.
Grimshaw said he couldn’t comment further because of the police investigation.
The building was full of people during the shooting, including a class of Grade 1 students. City police and RCMP tactical teams spent several hours securing and clearing the building, escorting out citizens who had been sheltering in various locations.
Police said the shooter acted alone.
They said officers are working with RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams on the investigation.
They are trying to determine a motive and reviewing a video posted by a man wearing a commissionaire’s jacket. In the video, the man delivers a rambling manifesto, decrying everything from so-called “wokeism” to the fighting in Gaza to unhealthy diets.
Sarvar, who looks like the man in the video, did not speak during his court appearance.
The lawyer who appeared for Sarvar, David Ibrahim, said his client is from Edmonton and has a father and brother-in-law in the city. The man in the video identified himself as a husband and a father.
Sarvar is scheduled for a bail hearing Feb. 2.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2024.