Soldier, shooter killed at Canadian Parliament in Ottawa identified

Posted at 11:18 AM, Oct 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-23 13:17:31-04

A soldier was killed and one shooter is dead in an attack that began at the National War Memorial and Parliament in Ottawa, Canada Wednesday, October 22.

Two soldiers were standing guard at the war memorial in Ottawa, and a gunman shot one of them, a witness told CNN. The soldier, Nathan Cirillo, later died.

CBS News reported the name of the deceased shooting suspect is Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. He is a Canadian born in 1982, according to CBS News. 

According to Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau, 911 calls started coming in at 9:52 a.m.

"We don't yet have all the information about what motivated the shooting," U.S. President Barack Obama told reporters, according to CNN. "We don't yet have all the information about whether this was part of a broader network, or plan, or whether this was an individual, or series of individuals, who decided to take these actions."

The soldier is the second to die this week in what are believed to be acts of terrorism.

Two days ago, the other soldier died in a hit-and-run crash in a Quebec city. Another was injured in that incident.

Initially there were believed to be multiple shooters, but the Ottawa police chief said Thursday he was satisfied there was only one shooter.

Witnesses said they saw a man run into a nearby government building after the soldier was shot at the war memorial Wednesday morning. Dozens of shots were fired in the Parliament building, according to reports.

Sources told The Canadian Press that Kevin Vickers, the sergeant-at-arms for the House of Commons, shot the assailant. 

So far, there is "no indication the shooter has ties to violent Islamic extremism," but it is still extremely early in the investigation, the source said.

The altercation in the Parliament building is reported to have begun in the foyer and then moved to near the library entrance.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was evacuated from the building.

Ottawa police said on Twitter there were "several shooting incidents in downtown Ottawa."  Incidents are confirmed to have occurred at the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill.  

Canadian police reported just before noon that shots had been fired at a shopping mall near Parliament. Police later retracted this statement, saying there were no shots fired at or near the Rideau Centre. 

A construction worker on the scene at Parliament Hill told Reuters he heard a gunshot, and then saw a man dressed in black with a scarf over his face running towards Parliament with a gun.

The man stopped a black car at gunpoint and hijacked it, construction worker Scott Walsh told Reuters. The driver got out safely, then the man drove the car to the Centre Block on Parliament Hill, where construction work is underway.

The University of Ottawa was also placed on lockdown and Canadian military bases closed.

CBC News in Canada reported just before 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday the soldier who was killed is a reservist serving from Hamilton, Ontario. The news outlet also reported two shooting victims are receiving care at Ottawa Civic Hospital. 

Two patients are stable, according to CBC News. A third patient, the soldier that was shot at the National War Memorial, later died.

Josh Wingrove of the Globe and Mail reports that one of the victims was a Parliamentary Guard shot in the leg, according to a House of Commons security officer. Another guard was shot in the pant leg.

The incident follows the raising of Canada's terror threat level from low to medium on Tuesday, October 21.

According to CNN, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has increased its alert posture due to the ongoing events in Ottawa.

That means the group has increased the number of planes on a higher alert status ready to respond if needed, an official told CNN.