OTTWA – A gunman shot a soldier at the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa and was then chased by police into the main parliament building, where at least 30 more shots were fired, according to media and eyewitness reports on Wednesday.
Parliament was locked down and Prime Minister Stephen Harper had left the building safely as police converged on the area.
As the situation developed, CBC News said in a tweeted news alert that more shots were fired near parliament and the gunman was still at large.
Police and tactical teams had converged on the area.
The wounded soldier was taken into an ambulance where medical personnel could be seen giving him cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.
The shooting comes two days after an Islamic convert ran down two Canadian soldiers with his car, killing one, near Montreal, before being shot and killed by police.
A construction worker on the scene said he heard a gunshot, and then saw a man dressed in black with a scarf over his face running towards parliament with a gun.
The man stopped a black car at gunpoint and hijacked it, construction worker Scott Walsh said. The driver got out safely, then the man drove the car to the Centre Block on Parliament Hill, where construction work is underway.
The gunman rushed past a woman with a child in a stroller, who ran away screaming. He did not attack the woman or child, Walsh said.
Centre Block is the main building at Parliament Hill, a sprawling complex of buildings and open space in downtown Ottawa. It contains the House of Commons and Senate chambers, as well as the offices of some members of parliament, senators, and senior administration for both legislative houses.
One member of parliament, Mark Strahl, tweeted from inside parliament: “Very tense situation in Ottawa this morning. Multiple gun shots fired outside of our caucus room. I am safe and in lockdown. Unbelievable.” â€“ Reuters