Canadian MPs improvised spears to fight off shooter while PM Harper hid in the closet

Thirteen of the fifteen flagpoles in the Conservative caucus room were snapped off and turned into spears by Members of Parliament who positioned themselves around the door to ambush the Parliament Hill shooter, while Prime Minister Harper was shoved in a closet.

Earlier, the press reported that Harper had been removed from Parliament Hill by this point, but that appears not to have been the case. Some MPs who made their own spears are now planning to keep them as trophies of their bravery: "It was that or get mowed down."

Many MPs thought the Prime Minister had managed to get out of the room and didn't know he was sequestered in what amounted to a cubbyhole.

"Someone knew there was a closet there so they stuck him in there," the source said.

"So for a lot of people it was as though he was gone."

The Prime Minister's RCMP security detail ultimately rescued him and whisked him out of the building.

It was a surprise to many Conservatives when Mr. Harper emerged from his hiding place to exit Parliament Hill.

Some MPs kept their flagpole weapons as souvenirs.

"Everyone was taking their spears home," the MP said. "I'm going to frame mine."

Ottawa attack: MPs fashioned spears while Harper whisked into closet [Steven Chase/Globe and Mail]