A major shooting incident occurred at Ottawa this morning when a man carrying a long gun fired shots inside Parliament Hill.
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a 24-year-old Hamilton native and Canadian Forces soldier, was guarding the National War Memorial outside the government complex when he was shot and killed. The suspect was carrying a rifle and has been identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian man who was in his early 30s.
MP Tony Clement says at least 30 shots were subsequently fired inside the halls of the Centre Block.
The elite JTF2 military team was deployed to the scene and subsequently shot to death during a crossfire with law enforcement.
A complete lockdown has been established for Parliament Hill. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was rushed out of Parliament Hill to a safe location while some MPs and opposite leaders Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair were locked down inside government buildings.
“Fellow Canadians, in the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had,” said Harper during a televised statement this evening. “But this week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.”
“We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and our institutions of governance are, by their very nature, attacks on our country… But let there be no misunderstanding. We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated.”
A second shooter is reportedly at large in downtown Ottawa and has prompted police to expand the containment zone by clearing the streets and asking the public avoid windows and stay indoors.
Schools in Ottawa and the University of Ottawa were under lockdown in response to the evolving incident. Lockdowns were gradually lifted as police performed thorough checks of the buildings within the containment zone.
Tonight’s NHL game held in Ottawa between the Maple Leafs and Senators has been postponed.
The incident began just before 10 a.m. EST Wednesday morning.
On Monday, two soldiers in Quebec were run over by a man with jihadist sympathies. One of the soldiers later succumbed to his injuries.
Canada’s terror alert was also raised from “low” to “medium” late last week – the first time since August 2010.
More on this as it develops…
— Sheldon Peddle (@SheldonPeddle) October 22, 2014
Shots fired during caucus meeting. at least 30 shots. MPs piled out. I’m safe with 2 colleagues but we’re still at risk… — Tony Clement (@TonyclementCPC) October 22, 2014
I’m with colleages Mark Strahl and Kyle Seeback. PM was in Caucus but now secure. Assuming it’s not safe to venture out yet… — Tony Clement (@TonyclementCPC) October 22, 2014
Feature Image: Parliament Hill Ottawa via Shutterstock