(The Globe & Mail) The attack on Parliament Hill’s Centre Block and the National War Memorial has left one Canadian soldier and one male suspect dead.
Several hours later, Ottawa Police and RCMP officers were still searching Parliament Hill and officials declined to say whether the gunman acted alone.
Federal sources have identified the suspected shooter as Michael Zehef-Bibeau, a man in his early 30s who was known to Canadian authorities.
Sources told The Globe and Mail that he was recently designated a “high-risk traveller” by the Canadian government and that his passport had been seized – the same circumstances surrounding the case of Martin Rouleau-Couture, the Quebecker who was shot Monday after running down two Canadian Forces soldiers with his car.
The soldier that was killed was identified as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, according to his aunt. Cpl. Cirillo, who was a member of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, a regiment of Reserve Forces based in Hamilton, was training to join the Canada Border Services Agency, his aunt told The Globe and Mail.
“We’re still in the process of an active operation right now. We’re treating this very seriously with the RCMP in identifying and clearing Parliament Hill to render it safe,” Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau told a mid-afternoon media briefing.
Buildings in Ottawa’s downtown core remained under lockdown and police enforced a perimeter around Parliament Hill after the gunman fired on soldiers guarding Canada’s main war memorial and gunfire rang through the halls of Centre Block.
Asked if the attack had caught police off guard, Gilles Michaud, commanding officer of the RCMP’s national division, said: “I think that from our reaction, it caught us by surprise.”
Still, he said “all available and necessary resources were activated and deployed immediately” and will remain in place as long as necessary.
Gunfire erupted at the National War Memorial around 9:52 a.m. (ET), then moved to Parliament Hill’s Centre Block. The Parliament Hill shooting was captured on this video by a Globe reporter. One Parliament Hill guard was shot in the leg and is recovering in hospital.