news

The Canadian capital is in lockdown after a fatal shooting.

Police on guard near the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada on October 22, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Lars Hagberg (Photo credit: Lars Hagberg/AFP/Getty Images)

The Canadian capital, Ottawa, is in lockdown after a gunman shot and killed a soldier before shooting at least 30 times inside Canada’s parliament building. MPs were close by at the time of the shooting.

“One shooting victim succumbed to injuries … one male suspect has also been confirmed deceased,” the Ottawa Police Service said.

The soldier — Corporal Nathan Cirillo — was shot while standing guard at Canada’s National War Memorial around 10:00am (local time), the ABC reports.

A short time later the gunman was killed during a shootout after being chased into parliamentary buildings, CBS News reports.

A source told Reuters authorities are now investigating a man named as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who US agencies have been advised is a Canadian convert to Islam, as a potential suspect.

Corporal Nathan Cirillo. (Photo: Facebook)

It is not known if there is more than one shooter and most of the Ottawa downtown area is in lockdown while police go door-to-door, searching for what they suspect may be other potential gunmen.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police have warned people in downtown Ottawa to stay away from windows and rooftops.

Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, who was addressing his cabinet at the time, took shelter during the attack, as he and other politicians were told to barricade the doors.

Mr Harper, who has since left Parliament Hill for a secure area, condemned the “despicable attack”.

“The prime minister reiterated the importance of the continued functioning of the government and our Parliament,” a statement from his office said.

Cabinet minister Jason Kenney tweeted that a parliamentary guard was also wounded in the incident.

 A police officer stands guard on Wellington St. in downtown, October 22, 2014 in Ottawa, Canada. Officials are investigating multiple reports of shootings and suspects after at least one gunman shot a Canadian soldier and then entered Canada's Parliament building.   (Photo: Mike Carroccetto/Getty Images)
A police officer stands guard on Wellington St. in downtown, October 22, 2014 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo: Mike Carroccetto/Getty Images)
ADVERTISEMENT

“Condolences to family of the soldier killed, & prayers for the parliamentary guard wounded. Canada will not be terrorised or intimidated,” Mr Kenney tweeted.

David Cirillo, who identified himself as Nathan Cirillo’s cousin, posted about the shooting on Facebook.

“To the gunman that shot my cousin point blank in front of the Parliament Hill this morning for no reason, you will get what’s coming to you,” the post read. “You destroyed my whole family for life. If there’s a way I can find you I will kill you.”

The shootings began as leaders of the three major parties in Canadian Parliament were holding their weekly meetings, Fairfax Media reports – a factor suggesting the attack may have been deliberately timed.

Getty reports that while there was no immediate word on the gunman’s motivation, the attack came a day after an alleged Islamist drove over and killed another soldier in what authorities branded a terrorist attack.

Canadian authorities had raised the country’s terror threat level on Friday, and Fairfax Media reports Mr Harper has been considering the introduction of new anti-terrorism legislation.

This vision was captured by an amateur cameraman of the shots fired in parliament house:

[post_snippet id=324408]