NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Canadian soldier standing guard at a war memorial in the country’s capital was shot to death Wednesday before gunfire erupted inside Parliament — in what has been called the second terrorist attack in three days in Canada.
One gunman was also killed.READ MORE: Fans Attempt To Storm Entrance Of Barclays Center In Protest Of Nets Not Allowing Kyrie Irving To Play Due To NYC Vaccine Mandate
And as CBS 2’s Dana Tyler reported, police Wednesday evening could not confirm whether any more shooters remained on the loose — though there were earlier reports that officers were searching for at least two others.
Lawmakers and civilians rushed through the halls of the Canadian parliament amid the sound of the gunfire. People fled Parliament by scrambling down scaffolding erected for renovations, while others took cover inside as police with rifles and body armor took up positions outside and blocked the normally bustling streets around the building.
“We’re standing around talking and one of the construction people said to us, ‘Well, probably a good idea to stand behind one of the monuments;’ that if there’s someone inside shooting out, then we got a bit (of a) better chance,” said Canada MP John McKay (Liberal, Scarborough-Guildwood.)
Witnesses said at least one gunman, a man dressed all in black with a scarf over his face, was chased into Parliament after another shooting at a nearby war memorial. There, a soldier standing guard over a tomb commemorating World War I was killed.
The CBC late Wednesday afternoon identified the soldier as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24.
When the gunman entered Parliament, dozens of shots rang out, witnesses said.
The gunman who was killed was identified as Canadian-born Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32.
PHOTOS: Canadian Parliament Shooting
Ottawa police spokesman Chuck Benoit said two or three gunmen were believed to be involved in the attack. Gilles Michaud, assistant commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, called it a “dynamic, unfolding situation.”
Ottawa Hospital said it received two patients, both listed in stable condition, in addition to the soldier.
WCBS 880 spoke with Canada MP Marc Garneau (Liberal, Westmount-Ville-Marie), who was also in the building when the shots were fired.
“This is not a place where you expect somebody to storm the place and start firing at everybody so it was quite traumatic for some people,” he said.