Following the shooting death of a military reservist and shots fired in Parliament Hill’s Centre Block, police have confirmed that one suspect is dead. The name of the soldier who was shot and killed in the incident has not yet been released. At a press conference today, police and military spokespeople offered condolences to the family of the shooting victim.
They said the incident was ongoing, but would not confirm whether there was more than one shooter, and asked that Ottawa citizens continue to be vigilant and report suspicious activity.
“We’re still investigating the active operation. We’re clearing Parliament Hill, and asking the public to call 911 to assist in the investigation,” said Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau.
“We are working closely with our law enforcement partners in response to this ongoing situation,” said Major General Cristopher Coates. “As a precautionary measure and until such time as the situation is considered under control, military and civilian personel working in the NCR have been told to remain in their buildings until further notice,” he added.
Around 10 a.m. this morning a man carrying what has been described as a shotgun approached, shot and killed a reservist soldier who was standing guard at the National War Museum. It was reported that the shooter then headed to Parliament Hill Centre Block, firing several more shots inside the building.
The CBC reported that additional shots were fired near Chateau Laurier Hotel, east of Parliament Hill. There were also reports of shots at downtown Ottawa’s Rideau Centre shopping mall, but Ottawa police have confirmed that contrary to prior reports, no shots were fired in the Rideau Centre.
Lockdown has been lifted from the Rideau Centre. However Parliament Hill and the nearby American Embassy, the University of Ottawa, schools and public buildings were still on lockdown as mid-afternoon. Police are going door-to-door in downtown Ottawa and searching cars leaving Ottawa for Quebec.
The Prime Minister was scheduled to be Toronto this afternoon for a ceremony awarding an honorary Canadian citizenship to women’s education advocate and survivor of Taliban assassination attempt, Malala Yousafzai. That event, as well as caucus meetings scheduled today have been cancelled.
The soldier who was killed was a Hamilton reservist serving in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada. This is the second Canadian soldier to be killed this week.
The gunman has been identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.
Ottawa police will lead the investigation on incidents that happened off Parliament Hill, and the RCMP will lead investigations of the incident that happened on the Hill.
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