Canadian officials have identified the attacker who went on a shooting spree yesterday –killing 24-year-old soldier Nathan Cirillo –near the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa as 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.
As reports keep surfacing we are learning more and more about the 32-year-old gunman.
Zehaf-Bibeau was a Muslim and the son of Susan Bateau. The Canadian news channel CTV News named his mother as Susan Bibeau, she is the deputy chair of the immigration committee at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.
During a tearful phone call, described by news.com:
“Can you ever explain something like this?” “We are sorry.”
Susan was married to Quebec businessman, Bulgasem Zehaf, who is said to be her son’s adoptive father. She gave birth to her only son, whose real name is Michael Joseph Hall in 1982 in Quebec. The couple grew apart and split when Zehaf-Bibeau was a teenager, legally divorcing in 1999.
It is believed he changed his name to Zehaf-Bibeau at some point, after he converted to Islam.
According to the Immigrant & Refugee board page, Susan joined IRB in 1990 as a refugee protection officer. She holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the Université de Montréal, a Master of Business Administration from Concordia University, and a graduate certificate in business administration from the Public Administration University.
Prior to her current role at IRB she was a program policy advisor in the Operations Branch. Then, she became acting head of the Strategic Planning and Partnerships Directorate. She also obtained a position as an advisor on national initiatives within the Refugee Protection Division (RPD), where she coordinated the implementation of new RPD initiatives, including the initiative on change management
It has also been revealed that Susan’ son grew up to become quite the criminal. Michael had a shady background and was even sentenced to 60 days in jail for drug possession in 2004. Prior to that he had been charged with robbery and making threats in Vancouver. The Globe and Mail newspaper, citing federal sources, said Zehaf-Bibeau was “recently designated a ‘high-risk traveler'” by the Canadian government, and his passport was taken. A close friend of her son also told the publication his friend had a dark side, his “erratic” behavior had even gotten him banned from the mosque, the friend revealed.
Susan whose position as a high-level federal staffer tried to give her son every advantage, she sent him to Mont-De-La Salle, a private high school in Laval and lived in a nice home.
Her son who has been described by old neighbors and people who new him as being involved in drugs and possibly mentally ill, was living in an almost-empty one room apartment and was hoping to study Islam in the Middle East, at the time of the attack.
Susan’s son was stopped cold when he was shot to death by a Parliament’s ceremonial Sergeant.