The news is unfolding minute by minute from the Canadian capital of Ottawa where “shots fired” have apparently taken down a Canadian Soldier guarding the National War Memorial. Early reports indicate the shooter then ran, unopposed into the Parliament Building. Prime Minister Stephen Harper who was inside the time of the shooting was safely evacuated.
One eyewitness, who is in fact a business and technical reporter, told CNN there were four shots fired into the back of the Canadian Soldier. He said he knew it was a Soldier because he was wearing a ceremonial uniform which included white gloves. It is still not known if that Soldier survived what appears to be a “lone wolf” attack. The Soldier has since been transported from the scene, condition unknown at the time.
It is not known how the shooter, said to be wearing black clothing and having long hair, was able to gain entrance into the Canadian Parliament. BBC reports that one gunman has been killed by police. As of 12:30 Eastern Time, CNN is also reporting that the shooter is dead.
This incident follows a deadly hit-and-run incident at a strip mall in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, on Monday that killed another Canadian Soldier, warrant officer Patrice Vincent, 53. The attacker, a radicalized Muslim, Martin Rouleau-Couture, was shot and killed a short time later by police. The weapon-of-choice in that deadly incident was a Nissan Sentra driven by Rouleau.
At this time buildings and schools near the Parliament Building and the National War Memorial are on official lockdown. That status will remain in force until it can be confirmed that there are no additional gunmen.
Undoubtedly, there will be international cooperation from the United States and other countries to verify if the shooter has any known terrorist ties. Currently, the Canadian government denies the shooter is known to them as a potential terrorist, however, immediately following the bombing at the Boston Marathon in 2013, similar statements were released by U.S. government authorities.
The FBI in the United States has requested that all field agents raise their alert status, effectively immediately. It cannot be confirmed that U.S. or Canadian fighter jets were scrambled after shooting at the Canadian Parliament Building.
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