OTTAWA, Ontario: At least two gunmen traumatized the heart of the Canadian government on Wednesday, with one shooting a soldier guarding the National War Memorial and then entering the adjacent Parliament building, where multiple rounds were fired. Shooting also was reported at a nearby shopping mall.
Police officers rushed to secure the Parliament building and move occupants to safety as they hunted for what Canadian news reports said were possibly two or three assailants, in what had the appearance of a coordinated attack. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that one assailant was killed. The condition of the soldier who was shot was not immediately clear.
The shootings began about 10am, just as the leaders of parliament were holding their weekly meetings, suggesting the possibility of deliberate timing. Many of the lawmakers were rushed into secure rooms in the basement by guards.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper had been inside parliament at the time of the shooting but was evacuated safely, Canadian news reports said. The entire area, known as Parliament Hill, was placed on lockdown as police reinforcements arrived.