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Canada's Prime Minister Says Deadly Ottawa Attack Was Terrorism

Multiple shootings at a Canadian parliament building and the National War Memorial in Ottawa left two dead. The victim and suspect have been identified.

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A soldier was killed and a suspected gunman is dead following a series of shootings Wednesday morning in and around the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa.

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The Ottawa police confirmed to BuzzFeed News that there were two separate shootings: one at the National War Memorial and one on Parliament Hill. The police had previously reported a third shooting outside the Rideau Centre mall, but retracted that statement. A spokesperson for the police department told BuzzFeed News that they received many 911 calls reporting shots heard from the mall area, but the witnesses were actually hearing the gunfire from the nearby war memorial.

A member of the Canadian Forces who was guarding the National War Memorial was shot and killed in the gunfire, police confirmed. The soldier is reportedly a 24-year-old Canadian named Nathan Cirillo, pictured below.

A suspect was killed, although police are not yet releasing details of his death. Canada's Minister of Justice Peter MacKay credited Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers with stopping the shooter.

REUTERS CHRIS WATTIE

According to Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino, Vickers (seen above carrying a ceremonial scepter) shot and killed one of the suspects.

Ottawa police spokesman Chuck Benoit told the Associated Press that police suspected there were one or two other gunmen involved.

In a phone call with BuzzFeed News, a police spokesperson clarified that they "always go with the assumption that there is more than one shooter involved, until we get concrete information proving otherwise."

At this time, no other suspects are in custody.

The deceased gunman was identified as 32-year-old Canadian resident Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who was allegedly a recent convert to Islam who had previously used the name Michael Joseph Hall.

A Canadian hospital confirmed it received three patients from the shootings. CBC is reporting that all three patients have since been released.

The violence led to speculation of a coordinated terrorist attack, since earlier this week two Canadian soldiers were killed in a hit-and-run that police say was "fired up with radical Muslim fervor," the AP reported.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson called the events "a sad and tragic day for our city and our country," adding that it was a tragedy with "origins as yet not fully known, causes not yet fully understood."

Police would not confirm the names of the deceased because they are still in the process of notifying the next of kin.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke Wednesday night of the "brutal and violent attack," calling the shooter a "terrorist":

View this video on YouTube

"Let there be no misunderstanding, we will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated," Harper said of Wednesday's terror attack. Instead he said it would only "strengthen our resolve."

Speaking of those behind the terror attack, Harper added: "They will have no safe haven."

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Witnesses told the Ottawa Citizen that two men got out of a car in front of the National War Memorial just before 10 a.m. One held a rifle, and opened fire at the soldiers stationed in front of the monument, the witnesses said.

Man getting CPR at war memorial on Parliament Hill - reportedly shot #cdnpoli #breaking

Laura Stone@l_stoneFollow

Man getting CPR at war memorial on Parliament Hill - reportedly shot #cdnpoli #breaking

10:03 AM - 22 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Cirillo was shot in the abdomen and later died in a nearby hospital.

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Ambulance arrives to take wounded soldier away. Looks like one of the soldiers on guard at the war memorial was shot.

John Ivison@IvisonJFollow

Ambulance arrives to take wounded soldier away. Looks like one of the soldiers on guard at the war memorial was shot.

10:04 AM - 22 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Witnesses said that after the shooting, one of the men got back into the car and drove up the street to Parliament Hill, where there were reports of shots being fired both inside and outside the building.

Witness says this is the suspect's car. He says two men climbed out. No licence plates on it.

John Ivison@IvisonJFollow

Witness says this is the suspect's car. He says two men climbed out. No licence plates on it.

10:19 AM - 22 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

From @CNNJason: Google earth view showing the 3 locations of shootings in Ottawa this morning -- all on lockdown

BuzzFeed News@BuzzFeedNewsFollow

From @CNNJason: Google earth view showing the 3 locations of shootings in Ottawa this morning -- all on lockdown

12:10 PM - 22 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

In a video released by the Globe & Mail, more than 10 gunshots can be heard from inside the parliament building.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Witnesses said they heard between 30 to 50 shots fired.

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Ottawa police confirmed to BuzzFeed News that there were also shots fired outside of Parliament Hill.

All government buildings were put in lockdown.

People in the Conservative Party caucus room barred the doors with chairs.

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Conservative caucus is locked down in its caucus room, Parliament building is being searched.

John Williamson@JohnW_MPFollow

Conservative caucus is locked down in its caucus room, Parliament building is being searched.

10:26 AM - 22 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

We're now in lock down on the hill as shots were heard outside our caucus room in centre block

Malcolm Allen @Malcolm_AllenMPFollow

We're now in lock down on the hill as shots were heard outside our caucus room in centre block

10:17 AM - 22 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

A member of Parliament tweeted at 10:30 a.m. ET that one gunman had been shot and killed by police.

Gunman at Parliament's Centre Block has been shot and killed

Bernard Trottier@btrottierFollow

Gunman at Parliament's Centre Block has been shot and killed

10:30 AM - 22 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

There are still reports of additional gunmen on the loose:

Police tell me shooter still on the loose as of 10:42 am

Bill Curry@currybFollow

Police tell me shooter still on the loose as of 10:42 am

10:41 AM - 22 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Officer confirms shooter still on the loose.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper had been inside Parliament when the first shots were fired, but was evacuated to a safe, undisclosed location.

Spokesperson for PMO says Prime Minister Stephen Harper safe, has left Parliament Hill. #cdnpoli

CBC News Alerts@CBCAlertsFollow

Spokesperson for PMO says Prime Minister Stephen Harper safe, has left Parliament Hill. #cdnpoli

10:23 AM - 22 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

President Obama has been briefed on the situation, but there have not been drastic security increases in the United States.

Obama called the shootings "outrageous," and in a telephone call with the Canadian prime minister, he offered U.S. assistance and stressed that the American people are in solidarity with Canada.

POTUS has been briefed on shooting incident in Ottawa, WH officials confirm.

Jim Acosta@AcostaFollow

POTUS has been briefed on shooting incident in Ottawa, WH officials confirm.

11:52 AM - 22 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

US Capitol Police: "no significant modification" to security, but they are continuing to monitor situation in Canada

Jacob Fischler@ItsFischyFollow

US Capitol Police: "no significant modification" to security, but they are continuing to monitor situation in Canada

12:16 PM - 22 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

NORAD tells BuzzFeed News it is 𠇌oordinating w our Canadian counterparts,” but no official steps to increase security posture so far.

E McMorris-Santoro@EvanMcSanFollow

NORAD tells BuzzFeed News it is ????oordinating w our Canadian counterparts, but no official steps to increase security posture so far.

1:04 PM - 22 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

In a press release issued Wednesday afternoon, the Ottawa Police confirmed that a soldier and a suspect had been killed, and asked Ottawa residents to stay away from Parliament Hill:

(Ottawa)—The Ottawa Police Service and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) responded to reports of shooting incidents this morning in the downtown area. Police can now confirm that incidents occurred at the National War Memorial and on Parliament Hill.

Contrary to earlier reports no incident occurred near the Rideau Centre.

One shooting victim succumbed to injuries. He was a member of the Canadian Forces. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his loved ones.

Next of kin notification is underway and as such, the victim's identification will not be released.

One male suspect has also been confirmed deceased. There is no further update on injuries at this time.

This is an ongoing joint police operation and there is no one in custody at this time.

Ottawa residents are asked to stay away from the downtown area while the investigation continues. If you work in one of the downtown buildings, follow the instructions from the building management you are in.

A number of RCMP and Federal government buildings are also closed to the public; as is Ottawa City Hall and all Ottawa Police stations.

The Ottawa Police Service wants to speak to witnesses of today's shooting incidents. Witnesses are to call Ottawa Police at 613-236-1222, ext 5493.

Those with tips regarding the shooting incidents, or those looking to report suspicious activity, can call 613-236-1222 or call 9-1-1.

Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477(TIPS), toll free at 1-800-222-8477 or by downloading the Ottawa Police iOS app.

The police have asked anybody with pictures or video of the shooting to contact them.

Anyone who has pics or videos of the sequence of events, surrounding today's shootings send to police at this link http://t.co/XckNNfQ0If

RCMP National Div@RCMP_Nat_DivFollow

Anyone who has pics or videos of the sequence of events, surrounding today's shootings send to police at this link http://t.co/XckNNfQ0If

3:07 PM - 22 Oct 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The safety perimeter around downtown Ottawa has been lifted, police said, after determining "there no longer exists a threat to public safety in the area."

"However, the police operation continues on Parliament Hill and as such the Hill continues to be off limits to the public.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.

Contact Ali Vingiano at alison.vingiano@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.