By Flora Davis
Shots rang through Canadian Parliament and Ottawa’s War Memorial late Wednesday morning. Peter Henderson witnessed the shooting and death of Nathan Cirillo, a soldier guarding the National War Memorial of Canada around 7:16 a.m. According to CNN, the suspected thirty-two year old gunman named Michael Zehaf-Bibeau so far has no proven ties to any terrorist organizations, but is identified as a high-risk traveller by Canada.
Later, at 10:00 a.m., a second round of shooting was heard in the halls of Parliament, just across the street from the war memorial. The same gunman continued to fire dozens of shots inside the building before he was shot down outside of the entrance to Parliament’s library, according to the New York Times. Now regarded as a hero according to CNN, sergeant at arms Kevin Vickers ended the life of Zehaf-Bibeau, unfortunately leaving investigators with no clues to the gunman’s motives for the shootings. Shortly after rapid firing was heard in Parliament, the building went into lockdown.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the site of the shooting to pay tribute to Nathan Cirillo. According to CNN, while setting a ceremonial wreath on the steps of the monument where he was shot, a man came up behind the Harper and covered his face with a white scarf. The attacker was dragged off by police.
Another incident involving a soldier being hit by a car in Montreal earlier this week has not been proven to be directly connected to either of these other incidents, however the suspects of these crimes are all on Canada’s high-risk travelers list. According to the Washington Post, Harper has confirmed that the shooting was a terrorist attack against Canada, and poses the question of whether or not Canada is ready to combat terrorism.