Canada on nationwide terror lockdown after shooting raid on Parliament Hill
A gunman shot down a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament building in Ottawa, Ontario on Wednesday morning, the proceeded into the building, where he continued to fire. One fatality has been confirmed.
Witnesses say that the gunman is carrying a shotgun-style type of weapon and fired at least 50 shots.
Preliminary reports indicate that the shooter is dead, but they are unconfirmed at this time.
UPDATE (10:58 a.m. EST): Police confirm that the fatality was one of the two soldiers posted at Parliament Hill’s war memorial.
The gunman is believed to be still at large. Reporters for CBC say that the area is in lockdown with scores of police on the scene.
UPDATE (11:05 a.m.): Prime Minister Stephan Harper has been moved to a secure location and is unharmed.
UPDATE (11:17 a.m.): One shooter is confirmed dead, but more shots have been fired, indicating that more than one shooter is involved. Reporters are being moved further and further away from the shooting scene.
UPDATE (11:20 a.m.): The Toronto Globe and Mail published video of Parliament police officers mobilizing and firing back at gunmen. So far, all Ministers of Parliament are reported to be safe and sheltering in place.
UPDATE (12:00 p.m.): CBC is reporting that a second shooting took place at the Rideau Centre, a shopping center located near Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa, lending further credence to word that there are multiple shooters.
Marc Soucy of the Ottawa Police Service confirmed to CNN that authorities are trying to determine whether there were two or three gunmen.
One gunman is confirmed dead.
To recap: There were three separate shooting incidents on Wednesday morning. The first took place at Canada’s National War Memorial, in which one member of the Canadian military was seriously injured and may be dead.
A second shooting incident took place inside the Parliament building. One gunman was killed by Parliament security.
A third shooting incident took place at the Rideau Centre and police are advancing on the area with weapons out.
UPDATE (12:30 p.m.): Parliament Hill Sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers reportedly shot down one of the attackers in the Parliament building. All Ministers of Parliament have been moved to safety.
Canada’s National Terrorism Plan is in effect, which means that a number of national security agencies are now operating at a level of heightened coordination.
UPDATE (1:05 p.m.): An Ottawa hospital has confirmed that the soldier who was shot at the National War Memorial Wednesday morning has died. This is the second member of the Canadian armed forces to be murdered in the last 48 hours. A soldier was run down and killed in a parking lot in Quebec on Monday.
The area around Parliament Hill is still in lockdown with an expanding perimeter being enforced by police personnel.
UPDATE (1:51 p.m.): Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai was scheduled to be sworn in as an honorary Canadian citizen in Ottawa on Wednesday. PM Harper announced that the ceremony has been canceled, as well as a forum discussion with local high schoolers.
UPDATE (1:58 p.m.): Ottawa Police Department officials confirm that one gunman was shot dead inside the Parliament building. Currently, no one is in custody and the operation is ongoing.
Police now say that there was no shooting incident at Rideau Centre.
A full press briefing by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is pending.
UPDATE (2:33 p.m.): At an afternoon press conference, Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleu said that the situation is still fluid, dynamic and ongoing. Bordeleu confirmed that the soldier who was shot at the National War Memorial died at the hospital. His name was not revealed at this time pending notification of the family.
Assistant Commissioner of the RCMP Gilles Michaud said that all available resources are being dedicated to the operation. Ottawa Police Department will be handling all parts of the investigation that take place off of Parliament Hill, while the RCMP will be investigating the incidents that took place on the Hill. He urged citizens to be vigilant and report anything suspicious to the police.
The RCMP’s Maj. Gen. Christoper Coates said that his agency is working closely with law enforcement personnel. He urged people still in the affected areas around Parliament Hill to continue to shelter in place and await official word about safe evacuation.
Ottawa’s Mayor Jim Watson said that Wednesday will be remembered as a “sad and tragic day for our city and our country.” He cautioned against surrendering to the urge to “let anger rule the day.”
The officials emphasized that the attack was a surprise to them, although Parliament Hill has been functioning at a heightened threat level for the last few years.
UPDATE (3:30 p.m.): The hospital who treated people injured in the incident reported that in addition to the soldier who was fatally shot, three other victims were brought in, all with non-life-threatening injuries. One individual was treated for a single gunshot wound, possibly a Parliament Hill Police officer who was shot in the leg.