A gunman shot and wounded a soldier in Ottawa on Wednesday and then entered the country’s parliament buildings chased by police, with at least 30 shots fired in dramatic scenes in the heart of the Canadian capital.
A suspected gunman was shot dead inside the parliament building, a government minister said.
It was not clear whether the suspect had acted alone. Ottawa police said they were actively looking for one or more suspects.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in a caucus meeting in parliament when gunfire erupted in the building, Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino, a former policeman, told the Toronto Sun.
Harper was later safely removed from the building, and parliament was locked down.
Fantino said parliament’s head of security, Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), had shot a suspect dead.
“All the details are not in, but the sergeant-at-arms, a former Mountie, is the one that engaged the gunman, or one of them at least, and stopped this,” Fantino said. “He did a great job and, from what I know, shot the gunman and he is now deceased.” ….
Also, there’s word that Government MP’s have been told the soldier who was shot died. CBC says that soldier may have been a Reserve soldier from Hamilton.
Condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of the fallen.
Meanwhile, Canadian military bases appear to be closed to the public, and NORAD is keeping an eye on our skies:
“We stand w/ our Canadian partners as scene unfolds in Ottawa. We stand resolute in defense of our 2 nations.First responders in our thoughts …. NORAD taking appropriate and prudent steps to ensure adequate posture to respond quickly to any incidents involving aviation in Canada.”
More of the latest here, as it continues to unfold.
Twitter is on fire with snippets of info right now, but here’s a consolidated report SO FAR:
Parliament Hill has been locked down in the wake of a shooting incident that left MPs and journalists huddled in secure rooms inside Centre Block as police hunted for the gunman.
Multiple reports say an unidentified gunman shot a soldier at the War Memorial before fleeing towards the Hill. MPs report seeing a body lying outside the entrance to the Library of Parliament inside Centre Block and that the shooter is dead. Journalists are reporting the building has been locked down and they’ve been gathered in the cafeteria for their safety.
According to one witness, an NDP MP reported hearing a gun battle outside their caucus door and the smell of gunpowder. Another MP reported hearing 30 shots fired inside Centre Block.
One witness reports seeing a man exit a vehicle parked on Wellington carrying an object wrapped in blankets, and that at least one of them headed to the War Memorial. Another witness quotes police saying two suspects approached the Hill in a brown car before running inside.
“I was stopped at a red light at the corner of Wellington St. and Elgin St. … In front of me is a little brown car parked beside the war memorial with no flashers on,” said one eyewitness. “I thought it was odd because there were no flashers. A man exited the front seat and opened the back seat on the passenger side. He pulls out what looked like a pile of blankets and ran around the back of the car to the memorial. I changed lanes to avoid his car, and then saw him running back towards the car with what looked like a pipe …”
MP John McKay said he was on his way to caucus when MPs were told to evacuate and that they heard multiple shots. He said he saw soldiers heading towards the Hill armed with assault rifles.
Witnesses report hearing more than a dozen shots fired. They also report seeing a man with rifle, wearing a light-coloured hoodie.
All MPs and senators are believed to be safe. A spokesman for Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he is off the Hill and is safe. Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair are also reportedly safe ….
More, as it unfolds – here’s hoping the shot soldier’s going to be OK.
Twitter is on fire with snippets, but here’s a consolidated report
- More of the latest from Ukraine here and here
- ATO map, 22 Oct 14 (National Security and defense Council of Ukraine)
- ATO map, 21 Oct 14 (dragon-first-1.livejournal.com, pro-separatist, in Russian)
- “Column of about 50 tanks and APCs arrives in Donbas” (ukrinform.ua)
- “Russia has not yet removed troops from border with Ukraine – NSDC” (ukrinform.ua)
- “Artillery fire prevents OSCE observers from inspecting chemical plant in Donetsk” (ITAR-TASS)
- “Ukrainian Defense Ministry, CEC may find way for soldiers deployed in eastern Ukraine to cast ballots – Rada chairman” (Interfax-Ukraine)
- “Kiev’s cluster bombs show real nature of Ukraine’s war — human rights commissioner” (ITAR-TASS)
- “Information about the use of the Armed Forces of cluster munitions is not true!“ (Ministry of Defence, in Ukrainian)
- “OSCE finds no cluster munitions in Donbas conflict zone“ (ukrinform.ua)
- “Kyiv rejects claims Ukrainian forces used cluster ammunition” (Interfax-Ukraine)
- “An Amnesty International investigation into allegations of execution-style and other deliberate killings by pro-Russian separatists and pro-Kyiv forces has found evidence of isolated incidents attributable to both sides, but not on the scale reported by Russian media and authorities. “Summary killings during the conflict in eastern Ukraine”, presents the findings of research conducted in eastern Ukraine (Donbass) in late August and late September 2014 and interviews with victims of human rights abuses and their families, eyewitnesses, local officials in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, medical personnel and combatants on both sides ….” (Amnesty International)
- “Amnesty International finds no evidence of mass killings in Donbas“ (ukrinform.ua)
- “President of Ukraine had a phone conversation with President of Russia — On the occasion of energy consultations in Brussels, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko had a phone conversation with President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Energy consultations between the President of Ukraine and President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso are also planned for today. The Ukrainian and Russian leaders emphasized the necessity of ensuring full ceasefire and artillery silence.” (Press Service of the President of Ukraine)
- “Telephone conversation with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko — Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. In view of the negotiations held in various formats in Milan, the parties exchanged views on cooperation regarding gas supplies. The two leaders also confirmed the importance of facilitating further peaceful settlement in southeast Ukraine and the observance of ceasefire.” (Russian President page)
- “Petro Poroshenko: Products of “Pivdenmash” will be included in the state defense order — “I instruct to make amendments to the state defense order and initiate funding of production of precision weapons, cruise missiles and tactical weapons,” the Head of State said in the course of the working visit to Dnipropetrovsk ….” (Press Service of the President of Ukraine)
- “The Interior Ministry presented 10 new armored vehicles — Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov handed fighters Natshvardiyi Ukraine certificates for military equipment that has been improved with the latest technological developments. Each fighting machine due to additional configuration has become a reliable vehicle ….” (Ministry of Internal Affairs, in Ukrainian)
- “Kyiv wants to enlarge OSCE mission on Ukrainian-Russian border” (Interfax-Ukraine)
- “OSCE sends first two drones to Donetsk region – Foreign Ministry” (Interfax-Ukraine)
- “Opening Ukraine’s “Second Front” — Since the beginning of Ukraine’s Maidan protests in late 2013, those opposed to the country’s westward reorientation have resorted to terror to try to get their way. The manner of these disruptions have changed several times after the occupation of Crimea. However, a series of events including staged protests, arrests and arms cache discoveries, signals a serious shift in the tactics on the part of the terrorists ….” (atocrimea.ukrinform.ua, joint UKR government-media site)
- “Anton Heraschenko: “It started 178 criminal proceedings related to violations of the election, 71 – by bribing voters” — This Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine said today, October 21, at a press briefing in law enforcement agencies. The work press conference attended coordinator election and political programs of civic networks “POLE” Olga Aivazovsky ….” (Ministry of Internal Affairs, in Ukrainian)
- “Bribery of voters has been detected in Luhansk region — Luhansk region – the Security Service of Ukraine has detected a fact of bribery of voters in favor of one of candidates for people’s deputy ….” (Security Service of Ukraine)
- “Crisis in Ukraine stems from Western attempts to move division lines eastwards: Lavrov” (European Commission news aggregator)
- “Lavrov: Ukrainian Crisis Result of Western Attempt to Shift Euro-Atlantic Area’s Divide” (RIA Novosti)
- Patrice Vincent, R.I.P. “Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, 53, had been a member of the Canadian military for 28 years when he died Monday after being hit by a car driven by a suspected homegrown terrorist ….”
- “Canadian Forces members are being told to “remain vigilant” after a 53-year-old soldier was killed in a hit-and-run near Montreal this week, highlighting fears military personnel could become targets here at home. But while some say security concerns and the need to introduce measures to protect Canadian military personnel represent the new reality of war, there are also fears of an overreaction that will have long-term implications ….”
- “Canada’s domestic terrorism threat quietly elevated” – more
- “Attack on soldiers an act of violence against Canada, Quebec: public security minister”
- “Martin Couture-Rouleau, hit-and-run driver, arrested by RCMP in July” – “Personal woes plagued Canadian who killed soldier: records, lawyer” – “Quebecer who killed soldier wanted to join ISIS”
- “Lone wolf terrorists hard to stop: Experts”
- “Martin (Ahmad) Couture-Rouleau’s passport was seized by authorities who feared he wanted to go overseas to take part in terrorism, blocking him from leaving Canada and highlighting a dilemma facing security officials dealing with the threat of militants on home soil ….”
- Commentary “Canada’s Half-Full/Empty Glass” – “When a troubled and paranoid owner of an industrial cleaning company suddenly fancies himself an Islamic State warrior and tragically kills a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, it gets that much tougher to push the privacy boulder up the mountain in this country ….”
- More on this here and here
- “Canada’s CF-18 Hornets Depart for Operation Impact”
- – “Six Canadian jets leave for Iraq combat mission on Tuesday” – -
- From the Info-machine “Canada Condemns Targeting of Shiite Muslims in Iraq – On behalf of all Canadians, I extend my prayers and deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those who lost their lives and to those injured in the attacks ….”
- Commentary “We don’t have enough fighter jets to whip out” – “How not to understand ISIS” – “A UBC international relations expert says Canada’s involvement is first and foremost a political signal”
- More on Canada fighting ISIL here, here and here
- “Ottawa continued to auction off stockpiled medical supplies to the public, even after the World Health Organization requested the protective gear amid an Ebola outbreak raging in West Africa ….”
- “A prominent law professor is urging the federal government to terminate an American company’s licence for a Canadian-made Ebola vaccine. The company, NewLink Genetics, doesn’t have the capacity to develop the much-needed vaccine, argues Amir Attaran, a professor of law and population health at the University of Ottawa. “The mistake Canada has made has been to keep this bad marriage with NewLink and try to make it better. Canada should either be terminating the licence agreement outright or simply issuing another licence on non-commercial terms to someone else,” Attaran told The Canadian Press in an interview ….”
- “Ontario Pledges $3 Million in Fight Against Ebola”
- More on the Ebola story here and here
Way Up North
- “Arctic warship order to be trimmed in shipbuilding plan — National shipbuilding strategy has not delivered a single vessel 3 years after announcement ….”
- “The Canadian military threatened the grieving parents of a soldier who committed suicide with legal sanctions if they did not turn over documents they had collected in their attempts to get to the bottom of their daughter’s death. Both Rick and Ellen Rogers received a summons in July 2013 to testify at the military board of inquiry into the death of their daughter, Lt. Shawna Rogers, who had been stationed at CFB Edmonton ….”
- “Royal Canadian Navy Adopts New Visual Identifier“ – Backgrounder
World War One
“It was with tremendous sorrow that I learned of the death of a Canadian Armed Forces member who succumbed to his injuries after being the victim of a hit-and-run yesterday in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.
“Our thoughts are with the member’s family, friends and colleagues, and we will do whatever we can to provide assistance in their time of need. Another CAF member, injured in the same tragedy, remains in hospital. We wish him a full and fast recovery as we extend our support to the member and his family.
“We are aware that the suspect was known to police and federal authorities although the circumstances remain under investigation.
“The Canadian Armed Forces has contributed greatly to the safety and security of those at home and abroad and has provided the hope of a better future to those who have known horror and death. Our CAF members represent the best of Canada, and to have one die in a senseless act such as this only strengthens our resolve. We will not forget.”
“Yesterday, two members of the Canadian Armed Forces were injured in a hit-and-run incident in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. One member later died in hospital.
“Our hearts go out to the family, friends and colleagues of the member and the Canadian Armed Forces are supporting them in their time of grief. We wish our injured colleague a speedy recovery, and we offer our unwavering support to his family as he recuperates.
“The suspect fled the scene of the incident and was pursued by police. This pursuit ended in the death of the suspect. There has been speculation that this hit-and-run may have been a possible terror attack directed at our members. Police are investigating this incident and will make a determination once their investigation is concluded.
“The safety and well-being of Canadian Armed Forces members is a primary concern. Security measures are in place at every Canadian Armed Forces installation across Canada. We continually adapt these measures to meet the demands of an evolving security environment, and we will remain vigilant against possible threats.”
Condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of the fallen, and hopes for a full and speedy recovery for the wounded.
First, there was the PM’s statement in the House of Commons in response to a question from a Tory MP about an “unconfirmed reports of a possible terror attack against two members of the Canadian Armed Forces near Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu”:
Mr. Speaker, we are aware of these reports and they are obviously extremely troubling. First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We are closely monitoring the situation, and we will make available all of the resources of the federal government. Once again, we are aware of these very troubling reports. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We are keeping a close eye on the situation and will make all of the federal government’s resources available.
Then, today’s statement from the PMO on the death of the one soldier:
“I learned with shock and sadness yesterday that two Canadian Armed Forces members from Canadian Forces Base Saint-Jean Garrison were hit by a man who, according to our national security services, had become radicalized.
“On behalf of all Canadians, Laureen and I offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the CAF member who succumbed to injuries caused by this vicious event. We also offer our prayers for the recovery of the member who was injured. I would also like to thank first responders on the scene for their efforts.
“Finally, I want to express that the authorities can count on our full support in order to get to the bottom of this terrible act.”
Next, we hear from Public Safety Minister Stephen Blaney, via The Canadian Press:
“Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney says Canada is taking terrorist threats seriously after a car struck two soldiers in Quebec, resulting in one of them dying.
“What took place yesterday is clearly linked to terrorist ideology,” Blaney told a news conference in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu on Tuesday.
He said he was “horrified and saddened” by Monday’s attack in the town southeast of Montreal that is home to a military college and a garrison.
Blaney said that as far as he knows no order has been given to members of the Canadian Forces to not wear their fatigues in public.
He offered his condolences to the family of the dead soldier and wished the other one a speedy recovery ….”
No word, as of this post, from the military, Minister or CDS.