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'Just doing my job': Guard shrugs off role in stopping city hall shooter


The security guard who stopped an armed shooter at Edmonton City Hall earlier this week is shrugging off any accolades, according to his boss

"'Well sir, I was just doing my job," Nick Grimshaw, chief executive officer of employer Northern Alberta Commissionaires, told CTV News Edmonton the guard said to him following the incident.

The guard, a military veteran who wishes to remain anonymous, is already back at work at another location.

"That's an indication of the type of character that he is, he's back to work. He was back to work yesterday," Grimshaw said

"He went above and beyond his duties and responsibilities as a commissionaire, and demonstrated very, very brave and fearless actions."

The shooter fired multiple shots inside city hall and threw a Molotov cocktail from the second floor before he was detained by the guard, who held him until police arrived.

No one was injured.

Bezhani Sarvar, 28, is facing six charges in connection with the case, including arson and firearms charges.

A bail hearing was held for Sarvar on Thursday, but the case was put over until next week.

Sarvar appeared in front of a packed courtroom via closed-circuit television wearing an orange jumpsuit.

Lawyers are still figuring out who will represent him, which resulted in the delay.

He is scheduled to be back in court on Feb. 2.

Sarvar was also previously employed by the Commissionaires.

"He was indeed an employee of ours and had been employed with us since about May of 2019," Grimshaw said, adding Sarvar's employment was suspended after the incident on Tuesday.

"We were as shocked and bewildered by all this as anyone else because he’s been a good and reliable employee up until now."

Grimshaw said an internal investigation will be conducted on the issue.

A Commissionaire's spokesperson confirmed to CTV News Edmonton on Wednesday that Sarvar had never been stationed at city hall.

'Harsh, cold reality is hitting'

Council and city staff are still working from home as cleanup continues at the building, and one councillor says it may be some time before people return in person.

Workers cleanup at Edmonton City Hall after shots were fired and a Molotov cocktail caused a small fire on Jan. 23, 2024. (Credit: City of Edmonton)

"We might cancel meetings altogether because we want our staff to have the capacity to actually do their job," Ward Dene Coun. Aaron Paquette said Thursday.

Paquette was in a committee meeting in the building on Tuesday when the shooting happened. He says he's still processing his feelings about the events.

"If you'd asked me on the day of, I would say I was doing perfectly fine. But I think that's because all of those instincts kick in."

"The adrenaline, the strangeness of the situation is wearing off, and a really harsh, cold reality is hitting."

"I notice that I'm alternating between very very calm, and at moments, just moments of rage."

He says some of his colleagues are having "strong" reactions to the situation as well.

"If you're just watching it from the outside, it probably doesn't have the same emotional impact. But having been in a situation going home to your family, and realizing that they might have never seen you again. It's really profound."

A class of Grade 1 students from an Edmonton Public School was also in the building when the shooting happened.

A class of Grade 1 students was escorted out of Edmonton City Hall on Jan. 23, 2024 after a shooting in the building. (Brandon Lynch/CTV News Edmonton)

"This moment has destabilized so many families right now. It’s just - I think anyone with a heart is going to feel a little bit angry about this," Paquette said, adding security measures in the building will be evaluated in coming days.

City hall officials across the country will likely do the same.

A security update for Calgary city council has been scheduled for next week.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jeremy Thompson, Nav Sangha, and Amanda Anderson Top Stories

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