Edmonton City Hall shooting: 28-year-old man charged, identified as security guard

One ‘heavily armed’ suspect was arrested after shooting a gun multiple times inside Edmonton City Hall, according to Edmonton’s police chief. Laura Krause has the details of the shooting.

The man who allegedly fired several rounds and threw a Molotov cocktail inside Edmonton City Hall was charged Wednesday.

Bezhani Sarvar, 28, is facing six charges including reckless arson in an occupied property, use of a firearm while committing an offence, and throwing an explosive substance.

His next court appearance is a bail hearing scheduled for Thursday morning.

BACKGROUND: Edmonton city hall shooter was ‘heavily armed’ with long gun, Molotov cocktails: police chief

Sarvar has also been identified as a security guard for Commissionaires, a company that provides security at Edmonton City Hall and other buildings in the city.

“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,” the company said in a statement. “Given the nature of this incident and the ongoing police investigation, we are not able to provide any further comment on this individual.”

The shooting is under investigation by the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET), Canada’s national security police. An RCMP spokesperson told CityNews INSET is “actively working” with Edmonton police.

“But as this is an ongoing investigation we will not be releasing any more details,” they added.

Police officers and vehicles outside Edmonton City Hall after a weapons complaint Jan. 23, 2024. (Rod Maldaner, CityNews)

Hours after the shooting prompted a lockdown of the municipal building, Edmonton’s police chief described the shooter as “heavily armed” with a long gun and multiple Molotov cocktails.

RELATED: ‘There will be changes’ to safety protocols once Edmonton City Hall reopens after shooting, Mayor Sohi says

Police say he parked his vehicle in the city hall underground parkade around 10:18 a.m., then entered the building from the parkade access.

Once inside, police say the suspect lit several Molotov cocktails, causing a small fire outside an elevator. He then fired “several rounds” into the ceiling, walls and windows, according to police.

Canadian military veteran detained suspect: Commissionaires

The suspect was detained by an unarmed security guard before police officers “arrived moments later.”

Commissionaires identified the security guard who detained the suspect as one of their employees as well, saying he went “above and beyond his normal duties.”

“We are very proud of him and thank him for taking such bold and brave action to protect the public. He has been an employee with our Division since February 2023 and is a veteran of the Canadian military, having served as an infantry soldier for seven years.”

Edmonton City Hall taped off after a weapons complaint Jan. 23, 2024. (Laura Krause, CityNews)

Once the suspect was detained, Edmonton police and RCMP tactical teams spent several hours clearing the building “of any further threats, escorting out citizens who had been sheltering in place in various locations throughout City Hall,” Edmonton police said in a news release.

Police say investigators are reviewing footage — possibly a “manifesto”-style video produced by the suspect prior to the shooting — that may be related to the incident.

–With files from Carly Robinson, CityNews

Editor’s Note: The Edmonton Police Service has removed a charge that was previously listed.

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