Shots rang out at Canada’s Parliament in Ottawa early Wednesday morning. One Canadian soldier was killed at the National War Memorial building according to reporters. Police were investigating reports of multiple shootings after one gunman shot a soldier and ran into Canada’s Parliament building. Video shows bystanders and members of Parliament scrambling in the midst of chaos.
The shots rang out just before 10 a.m., when a guard at the National War Monument was fatally shot. The gunmen next ran into the Parliament Hill building, where one MP reported hearing as many as 30 shots fired and a sergeant at arms was later credited with shooting one of the gunmen dead.
White House Press Secretary Joshua Earnest addressed reporters on the attack on the Canadian Parliament saying the nation’s thoughts and prayers are with Canada, particularly the family of the slain soldier. Details of the incident “are still sketchy” and it was too early to determine if the attack was an act of terrorism. He also said President Obama is planning a phone call with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco is updating President Obama on the shooting. The shooting at the government complex came after witnesses said they saw two men jump out of a Toyota Corolla and run toward the memorial, where one opened fire on the soldier, who later died at Civic Hospital. Officials did not identify the guard pending notification of his family, but The Ottawa Sun said he was a member of Hamilton’s Argylls of Canada – 91st Canadian Highlanders who were on tour guarding the memorial.
Following the shooting, the U.S. embassy was put on lockdown according to U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.
We are following the active shooter situation in Ottawa near the National War Memorial and Parliament,” Harf said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We have full confidence in Canadian law enforcement officials. [U.S. Secretary of State John] Kerry who’s on his plane on the way back from Berlin has been briefed on the situation and is following it closely.”
Shootings were reported less than a mile away from Parliament Hill near Rideau Centre Mall but authorities could not confirm if the incidents were related. Otttawa police have told Police have lockdowned Ottawa. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was whisked away to a safe location as Royal Canadian Mounted Police converged on the complex.
MP Democrat Helene Laverdiere, told local Canadian news agency that she heard 20 to 30 shots and hit the floor. Public buildings near the shooting were placed under lockdown. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson issued a statement.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured.” “As with all Ottawa residents and all Canadians, I am shocked and saddened by what has happened in the last hour here in the nation’s capital.” “As with all Ottawa residents and all Canadians, I am shocked and saddened by what has happened in the last hour here in the nation’s capital.”
The shooting comes during a tense period for Canada, which has seen its terror threat level raised by the government and a military member killed by a man who was under surveillance for possible terrorist ties.