Police are looking for multiple gunmen in the capital of Canada after several shootings in downtown Ottawa.
One gunman shot a soldier at Canada’s National War Memorial before facing off with police in the parliament building. The gunman has been killed by police, and the soldier has died in the hospital.
According to Hazel Harding, a spokeswoman for The Ottawa Hospital, three victims were taken there including a soldier. Harding said two of the victims were in “stable condition.”
“All inquiries about the soldier’s status (the third patient) should be directed to the Department of National Defence,” Harding said in an email to Business Insider.
The capital is on lockdown as police investigate shootings at two locations: the War Memorial and Parliament Hill.
Police said earlier there was another shooting near the Rideau Centre shopping mall, but now say there was no incident there. All three locations are within a few hundred yards of each other.
“We are actively looking for suspects right now,” Ottawa Police Service Constable Marc Soucy told Reuters.
Soucy also told Business Insider that the police were not certain how many shooters were involved.
“We don’t have an exact number,” Soucy said. “There may be more than one.”
Soucy said police “don’t know” whether there is a connection to terrorism.
“That’s too early in the investigation, only time will tell,” he said.
A construction worker on the scene 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 Center Block on Parliament Hill, where construction work is underway.
The suspected gunman rushed past a woman with a child in a stroller, who ran away screaming. He did not attack the woman or child, Walsh said.
Center Block is the main building at Parliament Hill, a sprawling complex of buildings and open space in downtown Ottawa. It contains the House of Commons and Senate chambers as well as the offices of some members of parliament, senators, and senior administration for both legislative houses.
The shooter inside parliament was reportedly armed with a rifle, according to CBC, which is also carrying a live stream of their coverage.
According to a tweet posted by Member of Parliament Craig Scott, one of the shooters was shot by Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers near lawmakers’ offices:
This is Canadian Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers who reportedly shot & killed one assailant. Ex-Mountie. Still got it. pic.twitter.com/jZr0jLvgEx
— Allie Renison (@AllieRenison) October 22, 2014
The sergeant at arms traditionally performs “ceremonial and administrative duties” at the Canadian House of Commons. Soucy could not confirm whether Vickers shot any alleged suspects.
Witnesses reported hearing several shots fired inside parliament. One reporter on scene noted that security inside the parliament building is typically “very lax.”
A member of parliament tweeted:
We're now in lock down on the hill as shots were heard outside our caucus room in centre block
— Malcolm Allen (@Malcolm_AllenMP) October 22, 2014
The Globe and Mail has uploaded video from the scene inside parliament:
In the video, you can hear what sounds like gunshots going off in quick succession inside the building.
Here are some more photos from the scene:
And more from Twitter:
— CBC Ottawa (@CBCOttawa) October 22, 2014
— Giacomo Panico (@GiacomoPanico) October 22, 2014
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service has not responded to requests for comment from Business Insider.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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