Funeral held for soldier killed in Quebec car attack

Sat Nov 1, 2014 2:43pm EDT
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By Christinne Muschi

LONGUEUIL Quebec (Reuters) - Mourners including Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper paid respects in Quebec on Saturday at the second of two funerals for soldiers killed in attacks police said were carried out independently by radical recent converts to Islam.

Patrice Vincent, a 53-year-old warrant officer, died on Oct. 20 near Montreal when a man ran over him and a fellow soldier with a car. The driver was later shot and killed by police.

Vincent's funeral on Saturday in the city of Longueuil, Quebec, just across the St. Lawrence River from Montreal, drew more than a thousand mourners, including a combination of soldiers, police, firefighters and local citizens.

Vincent had served nearly three decades in the Canadian military, including some time spent as a firefighter, and was just a few years from retirement.

"This guy was always there at the drop of a hat anytime you needed him. He was a dedicated person, lovable guy, always had a great sense of humor ... He always had a good joke, and then he would carry on to do his job," Daniel Drouin, who served with Vincent as a military firefighter, told CBC Television.

His funeral procession included fire trucks and a band of bagpipers in full ceremonial garb. Some two dozen Royal Canadian Mounted Police in red serge dress uniforms flanked the entrance of the gray stone cathedral where the funeral was held.

The shock of Vincent's killing was compounded by a separate attack in Ottawa on Oct 22, when a gunman shot dead a soldier guarding a national war memorial and stormed the country's Parliament building. That attacker was also shot dead by security services.

Vincent's funeral was a lower key event than that of Corporal Nathan Cirillo, 24, the victim of the Ottawa attack. Cirillo's funeral on Oct. 28 attracted thousands of mourners, many lining the streets in Hamilton, Ontario.   Continued...

Pallbearers carry the casket of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent following his funeral in Longueuil, Quebec November 1, 2014. REUTERS/Chris Wattie