News

Armed Military Member Who Stormed Gate Threatened Justin Trudeau, Police Say

Corey Hurren, who had allegedly posted QAnon conspiracy content online, faces 22 charges.
July 7, 2020, 2:59pm
Court documents allege the Canadian Armed Forces member who stormed Justin Trudeau’s residence was armed to the teeth and explicitly threatened to harm the prime minister.
Photo via Grindhouse Fine Foods Facebook page. 

Court documents allege the Canadian Armed Forces member who stormed Justin Trudeau’s residence was armed to the teeth and explicitly threatened to harm the prime minister.

Corey Hurren, 46, allegedly rammed his truck through the front gates of Ottawa’s Rideau Hall—the property that houses the homes of Trudeau and Governor General Julie Payette—on the morning of July 2, left the vehicle on foot with several weapons and, after hiding in some bushes, made his way through a good chunk of the property. He was intercepted by police officers near one of the greenhouses on the property and spent almost two hours negotiating with the officers before being arrested without incident. Police laid 22 charges against Hurren on the following day, the details of which were released on Monday.

Police allege Hurren did “knowingly utter," "convey," or “cause Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to receive a threat to cause death or bodily harm.” The majority of the charges Hurren faces are firearm-related. According to the court sheet, Hurren had a “high standard revolver,” a “Norinco M14 rifle,” and two non-restricted shotguns, and a high capacity magazine on him. He allegedly had all the weapons loaded at the time of his arrest. The explicit details of the alleged threat Hurren made against Trudeau have not yet come to light.

Hurren, who is from Bowsman, Manitoba, is a Canadian Ranger—a member of the Canadian reserves who serve in remote parts of Canada. The Canadian Armed Forces say Hurren was in the reserves from 1997-2000 and re-upped his service in 2019. A member of the 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, Hurren has participated in several training activities and even helped the massive search for two teen boys who were on the run from police during a murder spree last year.

“He was considered “on duty” at the time of the incident on 2 July as he was supporting Operation LASER (the CAF response to the COVID-19 pandemic) on Class C full-time service,” reads the statement released by the CAF. “He was not, however, part of any CAF military task at the time of his arrest; he travelled to Ottawa of his own accord without the knowledge of his chain of command.”

Hurren was receiving full-time work and pay as a member of the armed forces. The CAF issued Hurren a rifle as a member of the Rangers but say it was not on him at the time of his arrest and that they seized it afterwards.

Shortly before Hurren rammed the gates of Rideau Hall he posted a meme that refers to Event 201, a training event put on partially by the Bill Gates foundation in October which tested the world's readiness for a pandemic. Event 201 is a favourite of conspiracy theorists who hold it up as proof that elites orchestrated the pandemic. Months before this he posted a QAnon meme. The meme featured hashtags—like "adrenochrome" and "frazzledrip"—that shows the man is familiar with the massive far-right conspiracy which alleges President Donald Trump is waging a secret war against the “Deep State.”

Other social media postings indicate that despite his work with the Rangers, Hurren was hit hard by the pandemic. Hurren wrote he had to temporarily shut down his sausage-making company in late May.

"I am not sure what will be left of our economy, industries, and businesses when this all ends," he wrote.

Photo via Grindhouse Fine Foods Instagram page.

Hurren tended to post images revolving around his sausages, his time in the Rangers, and outdoor activities like fishing before the pandemic but that changed in March when his postings became more conspiratorial. Hurren’s actions were one day removed from an anti-Trudeau rally that took place in Ottawa which brought hundreds of attendees from across the country. There’s been no evidence linking Hurren to the rally.

A GoFundMe fundraiser was set up for Hurren’s family by a member of a local radio station shortly after it came to light that the Manitoba man was arrested. While the GoFundMe says that the money is for Hurren’s family and isn't an endorsement of his actions, some are donating in support of the man nevertheless.

“My sympathy to Corey’s family, but they should hold their heads high to be associated with a true hero of Kana-Duh,” wrote a man who gave $250. “The remains of this once great country could use a few more folks with some balls & some brains.”

Other posts on social media, such as on a Facebook page called Old Stock Canadians, paint Hurren as a hero for allegedly attempting to kill Trudeau. Members of the QAnon community have already begun painting his arrest and social media postings as a "false flag."

Hurren will remain in police custody until at least July 17.

Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on VICE US.