Three separate shootings in government landmarks in Canada Wednesday morning are being suspected of being the work of fundamentalist terrorist group ISLsparking a state of alert as the crisis unfolds in the locations.
It started Wednesday morning when a gunman shot a Canadian soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa before entering Parliament where more shots rang out. People fled Parliament by scrambling down scaffolding erected for renovations, witnesses told the Canadian Press news agency. Others were in lockdown.
Video shot by a reporter for the Globe and Mail showed police officers walking slowly through Parliament toward the entrance with weapons drawn. The sound of a gunshot ran out, followed by the sounds of multiple shots.
The third shooting occurred at Rideau Centre, a nearby shopping mall in Ottawa.
CBC reports that a gunman inside Canadas Parliament Hill was shot dead, but no details have arisen whether more gunmen are dead or how many are involved.
The situation is developing and police have cordoned off the locations with guns drawn, trying to secure the perimeters involved. The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa has been shut down as a precaution, mostly because of its proximity to the shooting sites. No reports of a shooting exist at the Embassy at the moment.
The shooting came two days after a recent convert to Islam killed one Canadian soldier and injured another in a hit-and-run before being gunned down by police. The suspect had been on the radar of federal investigators, who feared he had jihadist ambitions and seized his passport when he tried to travel to Turkey.
Authorities have told several news outlets that the prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, was uninjured and is planning on making a public statement on the threat some time Wednesday.
Cabinet minister Tony Clement tweeted that at least 30 shots were heard inside Parliament on Wednesday, where Conservative and Liberal MPs were holding their weekly caucus meetings.
“Shots fired inside centre block during our caucus meeting. I’m safe locked in a office awaiting security.” Kyle Seeback, a member of Parliament, tweeted.
Emergency responders went to the scene and paramedics took the wounded soldier away in an ambulance. His condition was not known.
The Associated Press contributed to this report