Mental illness at a mall in Ottawa

Ottawa | The Rideau center, less than 1 kilometer from Parliament, was evacuated in panic two days after the siege was lifted.

Photo by QMI Agency, Raphaël Pirro

“It happened so quickly,” says Dean, a shopkeeper we met outside the closed doors of the city’s most famous mall.

“When I was queuing up to go into the gym, someone shouted that there was someone with a gun inside the H&M. Everyone started screaming and running, ”he said.

Ottawa Police said on Twitter that the call to shoplifting “with a potential weapon” provoked intervention.

But then he deleted that message in confusion, before mentioning that a person had been arrested and the investigation was continuing, without further details.

Photo by QMI Agency, Raphaël Pirro

Within minutes three police forces were mobilized. All the streets around the Rideau center were cordoned off, and the building, which housed 175 shops and about 1,500 people, was brought under control by armed officers with dogs.

The Ryto Center reopened on Tuesday after being closed for three weeks. Cadillac Fairview management decided to close the gates on January 29 to protect employees because the mall was attacked by protesters.

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Shocked residents

Police officers are always vigilant because the besiegers always promise to return to settle in the federal capital. After a three-week siege, residents are particularly on the edge.

In response to the eviction of the shopping center, Ottawa on Tuesday recalled the offer of public health mental health services.

Photo by QMI Agency, Raphaël Pirro

“Our community has been severely affected not only for the last three weeks, but for more than two years. You may find that such (Tuesday) morning events bother you more than ever. This is normal, ”he said.

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