Ottawa shooting won’t weaken country’s resolve: PM

Soldier dead, 2 others injured in Parliament Hill siege; gunman dead

Published on October 22, 2014
Centre Block on Parliament Hill

Published on 22 October 2014

Centre Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa is surrounded by police vehicles on Wednesday. Local MPs spoke with TC Media from the building after a gunman opened fire. — Photo by The Canadian Press

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Parliament Hill shootings

Published on 22 October 2014

Paramedics and police wheel away a soldier who was shot today at the National War Memorial near Parliament Hill in Ottawa. A gunman opened fire at the National War Memorial, wounding a soldier, then moved to nearby Parliament Hill and wounded a security guard before he was shot, reportedly by Parliament's sergeant-at-arms. — Canadian Press photo

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Gerry Byrne photo

Published on 22 October 2014

<p class="js-tweet-text tweet-text" lang="en" data-aria-label-part="0">A photo Tweeted by MP Gerry Byrne who wrote on Twitter, "Significant police presence right outside of the office where I am in lock down."</p>

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Gunshots on Parliament Hill

Published on 22 October 2014

An RCMP intervention team next to a Parliament building in Ottawa. A Canadian soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa has been shot by an unknown gunman and there are reports of gunfire inside the halls of Parliament. — Canadian Press photo

Photos by

Gerry Byrne photo

Published on 22 October 2014

A photo Tweeted by MP Gerry Byrne with the caption, "The black sedan with the door open right below me MAY be what we are hearing is the stolen car the assailant used."

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Screen shot from Gerry Byrne's Twitter account

Published on 22 October 2014

Screen shot from MP Gerry Byrne's Twitter account

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Canadian Press map

Published on 22 October 2014

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Screen shot from MP Ryan Cleary's Twitter account

Published on 22 October 2014

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Screen shots

Published on 22 October 2014

Above are screen shots of Tweets by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and RCMP regarding the shooting in Ottawa today.

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A gunman turned the nation’s capital into an armed camp Wednesday after he fatally shot an honour guard at point-blank range at the National War Memorial before setting his sights on Parliament Hill.

The extraordinary scene ended with the assailant shot dead in the polished marble halls of Parliament’s Centre Block, apparently by the sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons, while SWAT teams combed the busy parliamentary precinct in an ultimately fruitless search for accomplices.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper capped the day’s stunning events with a rare live televised address, calling the tragedy a terrorist attack that he said would only redouble Canada’s efforts to combat terrorism at home and abroad.

Slain reservist Cpl. Nathan Cirillo of Hamilton, Ont., is the second member of the Armed Forces this week to die in an apparently random, murderous attack, just as Canadian war planes are being deployed to Iraq.

Two Canadian soldiers were run over — one of them fatally — in Quebec on Monday by a man with jihadist sympathies.

The slain shooter was identified as Michael Zehaf Bibeau, born in 1982 and known to police in Montreal and Vancouver.

“It’s way too early to be able to determine a motive,” Gilles Michaud, the assistant commissioner of the RCMP, said at a news conference in Ottawa while police were still clearing downtown buildings.

 

‘Grim reminder’

But the prime minister, who was in the Centre Block addressing a Conservative caucus meeting when the attack began just outside the door, later took to the national airwaves to unequivocally characterize the shooter’s true motives.

“Fellow Canadians, in the days to come we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had,” Harper said.

“But this week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.”

Attacks on Canadian security personnel and governing institutions, he said, are “by their very nature, attacks on our country, on our values, on our society, on us Canadians as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all.”

But Canada will not be intimidated, Harper declared.

“In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts, and those of our national security agencies, to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home — just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores.

“They will have no safe haven.”

Harper offered the country’s condolences to the family of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a 24-year-old reservist who was shot twice at point-blank range at the war memorial near Parliament Hill.

Cirillo was “murdered in cold blood” at a “sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives so that we can live in a free, democratic and safe society,” he said.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair echoed Harper in expressing his revulsion for what he called “a cowardly attack designed to strike at the heart of our democracy, the heart of who we are.”

But he appealed to Canadians not to give in to feelings of vengeance.

“We woke up this morning in a country blessed by love, diversity and peace,” Mulcair said in a televised statement immediately following Harper’s.

“And tomorrow we will do the same. These acts were driven by hatred but also designed to drive us to hate. They will not. We will stand up and we will stand together.”

 

Witnesses

Tony Zobl, 35, witnessed Cirillo being gunned down at the War Memorial from his fourth-floor office window directly above the monument, just before 10 a.m. Wednesday.

“I looked out the window and saw a shooter — a man dressed all in black with a kerchief over his nose and mouth and something over his head as well — holding a rifle and shooting an honour guard in front of the Cenotaph, point blank, twice,” Zobl told The Canadian Press.

“It looked like the honour guard was trying to reach for the barrel of the gun,” he continued. “The honour guard dropped to the ground and the shooter kind of raised his arms in triumph holding the rifle.”

Zobl said the shooter then ran up the street toward Parliament Hill.

It was only earlier this year that the government extended the season for live guards at the monument through the November Remembrance Day ceremonies. In the past, the honour guard has stood down after Labour Day.

The scene on Parliament Hill was frantic.

Wednesday morning is the busiest day of the week on the Hill, with MPs and senators of all major parties gathering in the Centre Block for meetings.

Given the time and day, it was remarkable only four persons were admitted to hospital. One was Cirillo, and the other three were all released Wednesday evening. Only one had a minor gunshot wound.

Witnesses and video suggest a hail of gunfire erupted in the marbled Hall of Honour that bisects the building directly beneath the Peace Tower.

Kevin Vickers, better known to political wonks as the ceremonially garbed sergeant-at-arms carrying the mace to open the Commons each day, was reported by multiple sources as the person who shot the gunman.

Construction worker Scott Walsh said he was in a manhole near the East Block building, between the memorial and the Centre Block, when he heard two gunshots echo down the street.

In the ensuing panic, people around him started screaming, including a woman pushing a child in a stroller.

He said she started to run, so he went to help her.

That’s when he saw a man with long black hair, his face covered by a white scarf with decals on it and wearing a black jacket.

“He had a double-barrelled shotgun, he was about five feet from me, and he ran right beside us, ran past the woman with the stroller and child,” he said.

The gunman then hijacked a car at gunpoint, he said, and drove it up towards the Peace Tower.

Greta Levy, a press secretary for the NDP, said she had just left the building when she saw the gunman walk up the paved ramp under the tower.

“None of us reacted at first but then we heard a security guard yelling, ‘There’s a gun, get down, get down, there’s a gun,”’ Levy said.

“And I looked up, as did the woman I was with, and saw a man that I would describe as young, 20s-30s, coming up the ramp as though to go in the main doors of Centre Block under the Peace Tower.”

The incident paralyzed the entire downtown core for hours, from the adjacent U.S. embassy to the University of Ottawa several city blocks to the south.

Sources said police at one point worried there could be up to five assailants, and they combed rooftops of nearby buildings in addition to the full lockdown.

The incident shattered the sleepy tenor of a capital that has been remarkably immune from attack through more than a decade of tumultuous overseas wars.

“I feared this day would come, and my prayers are with the fallen soldier,” senior cabinet minister Tony Clement posted on Twitter while locked in the caucus room. “Hug your fam.”

“It’s a stomach-turning, shocking day for all Canadians,” Marc Garneau, a former Forces member and now Liberal foreign affairs critic, said in an interview.

The Hill is known as an open public space that’s used for everything from mass yoga classes to hazy pot-legalization demonstrations.

“I think the intention was to try to make Parliament not look like Fort Knox,” said Garneau. “But we’ve crossed a river today.”

Green party Leader Elizabeth May urged restraint.

“Today is not a day that ‘changes everything,’” May said in a statement. “It is a day of tragedy. We must ensure we keep our responses proportionate to whatever threat remains.”

Military bases have been put on alert and soldiers have been cautioned about wearing uniforms in public.

In Toronto, the country’s largest city, extra police where put on the streets and public buildings were on alert.

Jan Lugtenborg, a tourist from the Netherlands, was at the War Memorial and able to describe the shooter in detail.

“We heard four shots,” said Lugtenborg.

“You don’t expect that when you’re on holiday in Canada.”

 

By Bruce Cheadle

THE CANADIAN PRESS—OTTAWA

With files from Jennifer Ditchburn, Steve Rennie, Jim Bronskill, Murray Brewster, Stephanie Levitz, Joan Bryden, Andy Blatchford and Lina Dib

 

EARLIER STORY:

OTTAWA — A Canadian honour guard who witnesses said was shot twice “point blank” by a gunman at the National War Memorial has died, while police continue combing a locked-down national capital for other potential threats.

The unnamed reservist from Hamilton, Ont., was killed by a masked, rifle-wielding gunman, who then moved up the street to launch an attack on nearby Parliament Hill, in which at least two people were injured.

A security guard is believed to be among those who were wounded in Parliament’s Centre Block, where an assailant was shot dead by the sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons. No details about the second injured person were immediately available.

However, security staff on the Hill have told some MPs’ offices they believe there may be as many as three shooters. Heavily armed tactical officers could be seen searching rooftops in the immediate parliamentary precinct.

Police would only say they are investigating “several shooting incidents in downtown Ottawa.”

The incident comes just two days after two Canadian soldiers were run over — one of them fatally — in Quebec by a man with jihadist sympathies.

Military bases have been put on alert and soldiers have been cautioned about wearing uniforms in public.

Tony Zobl, 35, witnessed the soldier being gunned down at the War Memorial from his fourth-floor office window directly above the monument.

“I looked out the window and saw a shooter, a man dressed all in black with a kerchief over his nose and mouth and something over his head as well, holding a rifle and shooting an honour guard in front of the Cenotaph point blank, twice,” Zobl told The Canadian Press.

“It looked like the honour guard was trying to reach for the barrel of the gun,” said the witness.

“The honour guard dropped to the ground and the shooter kind of raised his arms in triumph holding the rifle.”

Zobl said the shooter then ran up the street toward Parliament Hill.

The Langevin Block, home of the Prime Minister’s Office across the street from Parliament Hill, has been evacuated. All three party leaders are confirmed to be in safe locations, party officials say.

Police herded bystanders off the street into a major office building and warned people to stay away from the windows. They have told people in the precinct that if they cannot lock their doors, they should barricade them.

The U.S. embassy, adjacent to Parliament Hill, has also been locked down, and U.S. President Barack Obama has been briefed on the ongoing incident.

Two sources told The Canadian Press that Kevin Vickers, the sergeant-at-arms for the House of Commons, shot an assailant inside the Hall of Honour, the main entrance to the Centre Block beneath the Peace Tower.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was rushed away from the building to an undisclosed location.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who were attacked,” Harper’s communications director Jason MacDonald said in a statement.

“The prime minister is safe and not on Parliament Hill and being briefed by security officials.”

Ottawa police confirmed they had a call at 9:52 a.m. with a report of shots fired.

Scott Walsh says he was working in a manhole near the East Block building, between the memorial and the Centre Block, when he heard two gunshots echo down the street.

Walsh says in the ensuing panic people around him started screaming, including a woman pushing a child in a stroller.

He said she started to run, so he went to help her.

That’s when he saw man with long black hair, his face covered by a white scarf with decals on it and wearing a black jacket.

“He had a double-barrelled shotgun, he was about five feet from me, and he ran right beside us, ran past the woman with the stroller and child,” he said.

The gunman then hijacked a dark car at gunpoint, he said, and drove it up towards the Peace Tower.

A second vehicle, with no rear licence plate, was parked directly in front of the Langevin Block in a no-parking zone. Sources say the vehicle remains a source of concern to authorities.

Bomb-detecting robots have been deployed in the area.

Cabinet minister Tony Clement tweeted that at least 30 shots were heard inside the building, where Conservative and Liberal MPs were holding their weekly caucus meetings.

Karl Belanger, a senior aide to NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, says security told them to remain locked in the Opposition leader’s office as there may be two or three gunmen.

Witnesses said shots were fired in several different corridors inside the Centre Block, the central parliamentary building that includes the Peace Tower and the House of Commons. Some people fled the building by scrambling down scaffolding erected for renovations.

Chuck Bronley of Ottawa said he was near the memorial when he heard four shots and saw a man running away carrying what he said was a rifle.

Jan Lugtenborg, a tourist from the Netherlands, described the shooter as having very long, black hair.

“We heard four shots,” said Lugtenborg. “You don’t expect that when you’re on holiday in Canada.”

Police were yelling at bystanders, shouting that there was still a shooter on the loose.

“DND member is down,” one officer was overheard saying.

Bronley and Lugtenborg said the victim appeared to be one of the ceremonial guards at the War Memorial.

Two people vigorously pumped the victim’s chest on the stairs of the War Memorial, until the victim was finally placed on a stretcher and ushered into an ambulance shortly after 10 a.m.

••• 

Earlier story

Police are expanding a security perimeter in the heart of the national capital after a gunman opened fire and wounded a soldier at the National War Memorial before injuring a security guard on Parliament Hill, where he was reportedly shot dead by Parliament’s sergeant-at-arms.

Security staff on the Hill have told some MPs offices they believe there may be three shooters, and police were searching rooftops in the immediate vicinity of Parliament Hill.

Police say they are investigating “several shooting incidents in downtown Ottawa.”

The Langevin Block, home of the Prime Minister’s Office across the street from Parliament Hill, has been evacuated. All three party leaders are confirmed to be in safe locations, party officials say.

Police herded bystanders off the street into a major office building and warned people to stay away from the windows. They have told people in the precinct that if they cannot lock their doors, they should barricade them.

The U.S. embassy, adjacent to Parliament Hill, has also been locked down, and U.S. President Barack Obama has been briefed on the ongoing incident.

Conservative MP Bob Zimmer has tweeted that a gunman was shot and killed, a report repeated by several other MPs’ offices but unconfirmed by police.

Two sources told The Canadian Press that Kevin Vickers, the sergeant-at-arms for the House of Commons, shot an assailant inside the Hall of Honour, the main entrance to the Centre Block beneath the Peace Tower.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was rushed away from the building to an undisclosed location, officials in his office said.

Ottawa police confirmed they had a call at 9:52 a.m. with a report of shots fired.

At least one gunman reportedly ran towards Parliament Hill, which remains under lockdown and surrounded by security.

Scott Walsh says he was working in a manhole near the East Block building, between the memorial and the Centre Block, when he heard two gunshots echo down the street.

Walsh says in the ensuing panic people around him started screaming, including a woman pushing a child in a stroller.

He said she started to run, so he went to help her.

That’s when he saw man with long black hair, his face covered by a white scarf with decals on it and wearing a black jacket.

“He had a double-barrelled shotgun, he was about five feet from me, and he ran right beside us, ran past the woman with the stroller and child,” he said.

The gunman then hijacked a dark car at gunpoint, he said, and drove it up towards the Peace Tower.

A second vehicle, with no rear licence plate, was parked directly in front of the Langevin Block in a no-parking zone. Sources say the vehicle remains a source of concern to authorities.

Bomb-detecting robots have been deployed in the area.

Cabinet minister Tony Clement tweeted that at least 30 shots were heard inside the building, where Conservative and Liberal MPs were holding their weekly caucus meetings.

Most of those MPs remain locked down in their caucus rooms.

The NDP caucus was evacuated along with the Liberal Senate caucus.

Karl Belanger, a senior aide to NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, says security told them to remain locked in the Opposition leader’s office as there may be two or three gunmen.

Witnesses said shots were fired in several different corridors inside the Centre Block, the central parliamentary building that includes the Peace Tower and the House of Commons. Some people fled the building by scrambling down scaffolding erected for renovations.

Chuck Bronley of Ottawa said he was near the memorial when he heard four shots and saw a man running away carrying what he said was a rifle.

Jan Lugtenborg, a tourist from the Netherlands, described the shooter as having very long, black hair.

“We heard four shots,” said Lugtenborg. “You don’t expect that when you’re on holiday in Canada.”

Police were yelling at bystanders, shouting that there was still a shooter on the loose.

“DND member is down,” one officer was overheard saying.

Bronley and Lugtenborg said the victim appeared to be one of the ceremonial guards at the War Memorial.

Two people vigorously pumped the victim’s chest on the stairs of the War Memorial, until the victim was finally placed on a stretcher and ushered into an ambulance shortly after 10 a.m.

The incident comes just two days after two Canadian soldiers were run over — and one of them killed — in Quebec by a man with jihadist sympathies.

— With files from Jennifer Ditchburn, Steve Rennie, Jim Bronskill, Murray Brewster, Stephanie Levitz, Joan Bryden, Andy Blatchford and Lina Dib

•••

(Earlier story)

Police are expanding a perimeter around Parliament Hill after a gunman opened fire at the National War Memorial, wounding a soldier, then moved to nearby Parliament Hill where he was reportedly shot by Parliament’s sergeant-at-arms after wounding a security guard.

The Hill remains under lockdown amid reports there may be two to three shooters, according to a senior official locked in the Official Opposition Leaders’ office.

Police say they are investigating “several shooting incidents in downtown Ottawa.”

The Langevin Block, home of the Prime Minister’s Office across the street from Parliament Hill, has now been evacuated and citizens are being moved back more than two blocks from the Parliamentary precinct.

Police herded bystanders off the street into a major office building and warned people to stay away from the windows.

Conservative MP Bob Zimmer has tweeted that a gunman was shot and killed, but that report was not immediately verified by police.

Two sources told The Canadian Press that Kevin Vickers, the sergeant-at-arms for the House of Commons, shot an assailant.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was rushed away from the building to an undisclosed location, officials in his office said.

Ottawa police confirmed they had a call at 9:52 a.m. with a report of shots fired.

At least one gunman reportedly ran towards Parliament Hill, which is currently under lockdown and surrounded by security.

Cabinet minister Tony Clement tweeted that at least 30 shots were heard inside the building, where Conservative and Liberal MPs were holding their weekly caucus meetings.

Most of those MPs remain locked down in their caucus rooms.

The NDP caucus was evacuated along with the Liberal Senate caucus.

Karl Belanger, a senior aide to NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, says security told them to remain locked in the Opposition leader’s office as there may be two or three gunmen.

A witness reported that a man drove up in a black vehicle, got out carrying a rifle and ran into the Centre Block — the seat of the House of Commons under the Peace Tower.

The vehicle, with no rear licence plate, parked directly in front of the Langevin Block.

Witnesses report seeing a man dressed in black with a scarf wrapped around his face, carrying a double-barreled shotgun

Shots were fired in several different corridors inside the Centre Block, according to witnesses. Some people fled the building by scrambling down scaffolding erected for renovations.

Chuck Bronley of Ottawa said he was near the memorial when he heard four shots and saw a man running away carrying what he said was a rifle.

A tourist from the Netherlands was also nearby when he heard four shots, and saw an armed man with long, dark hair fleeing.

Police were yelling at bystanders, shouting that there was still a shooter on the loose.

“DND member is down,” one officer was overheard saying.

Bronley was fairly certain the victim was one of the ceremonial guards at the War Memorial.

Two people vigorously pumped the victim’s chest on the stairs of the War Memorial, until the victim was finally placed on a stretcher and ushered into an ambulance shortly after 10 a.m.

The incident comes just two days after two Canadian soldiers were run over — and one of them killed — in Quebec by a man with jihadist sympathies.

 

•••

(Earlier story)

A gunman opened fire at the National War Memorial, wounding a soldier, then moved to nearby Parliament Hill and wounded a security guard before he was shot, reportedly by Parliament’s sergeant-at-arms.

The Hill remains under lockdown amid reports there may be two to three shooters, according to a senior official locked in the Official Opposition Leaders’ office.

Conservative MP Bob Zimmer has tweeted that a gunman was shot and killed, but that report was not immediately verified by police.

Two sources told The Canadian Press that Kevin Vickers, the sergeant-at-arms for the House of Commons, shot an assailant.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was rushed away from the building to an undisclosed location, officials in his office said.

Ottawa police confirmed they had a call at 9:52 a.m. with a report of shots fired.

The gunman reportedly ran towards Parliament Hill, which is currently under lockdown and surrounded by security.

Cabinet minister Tony Clement tweeted that at least 30 shots were heard inside the building, where Conservative and Liberal MPs were holding their weekly caucus meetings.

Most of those MPs remain locked down in their caucus rooms.

The NDP caucus was evacuated along with the Liberal Senate caucus.

A witness reported that a man drove up in a black vehicle, got out carrying a rifle and ran into the Centre Block — the seat of the House of Commons under the Peace Tower.

The man was dressed in black with a scarf wrapped around his face.

Witnesses reported hearing shots fired in several different corridors. Some people fled the building by scrambling down scaffolding erected for renovations.

Chuck Bronley of Ottawa said he was near the memorial when he heard four shots and saw a man running away carrying a rifle.

A tourist from the Netherlands was also nearby when he heard four shots, and saw an armed man with long, dark hair fleeing.

Police were yelling at bystanders, shouting that there was still a shooter on the loose.

“DND member is down,” one officer was overheard saying.

Bronley was fairly certain the victim was one of the ceremonial guards at the War Memorial.

Two people vigorously pumped the victim’s chest on the stairs of the War Memorial, until the victim was finally placed on a stretcher and ushered into an ambulance shortly after 10 a.m.

The incident comes just two days after two Canadian soldiers were run over — and one of them killed — in Quebec by a man with jihadist sympathies.

 

•••

(Earlier story)

A soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa has been shot by an unknown gunman, who then moved to nearby Parliament Hill and opened fire inside the Centre Block.

Conservative MP Bob Zimmer has tweeted that the gunman was shot and killed, but that report was not be immediately verified by police.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was rushed away from the building to an undisclosed location, officials in his office said.

Ottawa police confirmed they had a call at 9:52 a.m. with a report of shots fired.

The gunman reportedly ran towards Parliament Hill, which is currently under lockdown and surrounded by security.

Cabinet minister Tony Clement tweeted that at least 30 shots were heard inside the building, where Conservative and Liberal MPs were holding their weekly caucus meetings.

Most of those MPs remain locked down in their caucus rooms.

The NDP caucus was evacuated along with the Liberal Senate caucus.

A witness reported that a man drove up in a black vehicle, got out carrying a rifle and ran into the Centre Block — the seat of the House of Commons under the Peace Tower.

Witnesses reported hearing shots fired in several different corridors. Some people fled the building by scrambling down scaffolding erected for renovations.

Chuck Bronley of Ottawa said he was near the memorial when he heard four shots and saw a man running away carrying a rifle.

A tourist from the Netherlands was also nearby when he heard four shots, and saw an armed man with long, dark hair fleeing.

Police were yelling at bystanders, shouting that there was still a shooter on the loose.

“DND member is down,” one officer was overheard saying.

Bronley was fairly certain the victim was one of the ceremonial guards at the War Memorial.

Two people vigorously pumped the victim’s chest on the stairs of the War Memorial, until the victim was finally placed on a stretcher and ushered into an ambulance shortly after 10 a.m.

The incident comes just two days after two Canadian soldiers were run over — and one of them killed — in Quebec by a man with jihadist sympathies.

•••

(Earlier story)

A soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa has been shot by an unknown gunman and there have been reports of gunfire inside the halls of Parliament.

Tory MP Bob Zimmer has tweeted that the gunman was shot and killed, but that report could not be immediately verified.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was rushed away from the building to an undisclosed location, officials in his office said.

Ottawa police confirmed they had a call at 9:52 a.m. with a report of shots fired.

The gunman reportedly ran towards Parliament Hill, which is currently under lockdown and surrounded by security.

A witness reported that a man drove up in a black vehicle, got out carrying a rifle and ran into the Centre Block.

Witnesses reported hearing shots fired in several different corridors. Some people fled the building by scrambling down scaffolding erected for renovations.

It is caucus morning on the Hill, meaning most MPs are in the Centre Block.

Police cars and emergency vehicles are clustered at the foot of the Peace Tower and the Centre Block has been evacuated.

Chuck Bronley of Ottawa said he was near the memorial when he heard four shots and saw a man running away carrying a rifle.

A tourist from the Netherlands was also nearby when he heard four shots, and saw an armed man with long, dark hair fleeing.

Police were yelling at bystanders, shouting that there was still a shooter on the loose.

“DND member is down,” one officer was overheard saying.

Bronley was fairly certain the victim was one of the ceremonial guards at the War Memorial.

Two people vigorously pumped the victim’s chest on the stairs of the War Memorial, until the victim was finally placed on a stretcher and ushered into an ambulance shortly after 10 a.m.

Paramedics performed CPR on the soldier before he was taken away by ambulance.

The incident comes just two days after two Canadian soldiers were run over — and one of them killed — in Quebec by a man with jihadist sympathies.

(Earlier story)

A soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa has been shot by an unknown gunman and people report hearing gunfire inside the halls of Parliament.

Ottawa police confirmed they had a call at 9:52 a.m. with a report of shots fired.

Witnesses reported seeing the gunman running towards Parliament Hill, which is currently under lockdown. Others on the Hill say they heard shots being fired in several different corridors.

The whereabouts of the gunman are still unknown.

It is caucus morning on the Hill, meaning most MPs are in the Centre Block.

Police cars and emergency vehicles are clustered at the foot of the Peace Tower and the Centre Block is being evacuated.

Emergency responders are still on the scene and paramedics performed CPR on the soldier before he was taken away by ambulance.

The incident comes just two days after two Canadian soldiers were run over — and one of them killed — in Quebec by a man with jihadist sympathies.

•••

(Earler story)

A Canadian soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa has been shot by an unknown gunman and there are reports of gunfire inside the halls of Parliament.

Ottawa police confirmed they had a call at 9:52 a.m. with a report of shots fired.

The gunman reportedly ran towards Parliament Hill, which is currently under lockdown.

Emergency responders are still on the scene and paramedics are performing CPR on soldier.

The incident comes just two days after two Canadian soldiers were run over — and one of them killed — in Quebec by a man with jihadist sympathies.

•••

(Earlier story)

Shooting at Parliament Hill in Ottawa

Early reports are coming in that at least one shooting has taken place around Centre Block of parliament in Ottawa.

According to reports on Twitter, RCMP officers have guns drawn inside the Canadian parliament building, and they are dealing with a shooter.

Newfoundland MP Gerry Byrne posted on Twitter: “On the fifth floor of centre Block. RCMP guns drawn, machine guns deployed entering mainm  (sic) doors.”

Other people have reported on Twitter that somebody has been shot at the National War Memorial, which is within line of sight of the parliament buildings.

Updates will be posted as information is received.