OTTAWA – A large area of downtown remained on lockdown late Wednesday afternoon after a shooting on Parliament Hill. The lockdown was lifted early Wednesday night yet people were still shaken after the day’s events.
A gunman walked up to the National War Memorial and opened fire on a soldier standing guard, killing him. Police have not released the soldier’s name pending notification of family members. Multiple media reports identify the soldier as reservist Cpl. Nathan Cirillo from Hamilton.
The suspect, his face covered with a scarf, then proceeded to Parliament Hill where at least 30 shots rang off inside the Center Block. Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau also says a suspect was shot dead inside the Parliament buildings by the sergeant-at-arms.
CBS News quotes U.S. officials identifying the dead shooting suspect as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian born in 1982.
With the downtown area of the nation’s capital on lockdown, Bordeleau wouldn’t say whether they are looking for a second shooter.
MP Guy Lauzon’s parliamentary assistant says his boss and another staff members are safe.
“I am not on Parliament Hill this morning, but know that Guy and our staff are safe, and in lockdown. Thoughts and prayers are w/ colleagues,” Eric Duncan tweeted.
Duncan says Lauzon was very close (within 30 feet) of the area where the shooting took place.
During the Parliament Hill shooting, a security guard was wounded in that area — shot in the leg and has non-life threatening injuries, according to 1310 News.
Ottawa police have corrected earlier statements and say there were two shooting areas — the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill. Earlier reports suggested there was a third shooting scene “near Rideau Center.”
Prime Minister Harper, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair were whisked away to a safe area.
All Canadian Forces bases have also been closed to the public as a precaution.
Closer to Cornwall, the Upper Canada District School Board posted on Facebook that all of its schools would be in a “hold and secure” mode until the Ottawa situation is resolved.
City police are also monitoring developments in the nation’s capital and say there is “no indication that Cornwall is at risk.”