Cypress Hills-Grasslands MP David Anderson was among many MPs who were under lockdown after shots were fired at Parliament Hill.
Staff at Anderson’s office in Swift Current confirmed they spoke with the MP yesterday morning and stated he was in a safe location along with other MPs who were under lockdown in the Centre Block, where a caucus meeting had been taking place. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was rushed to a safe area.
The lockdown came after reports of three separate shootings at the Nation’s Capital. A soldier was shot at the National War Memorial and a security guard was shot and wounded at Parliament Hill. Shots were also reported near the Rideau Centre shopping mall, but police later stated there was no incident there. Four individuals were reportedly taken to hospital, including three with minor injuries, and the soldier.
Conservative cabinet minister Jason Kenney confirmed the soldier who was shot died of his injuries.
“Condolences to family of the soldier killed (and) prayers for the parliamentary guard wounded,” he posted on Twitter hours after the shooting.
One gunman was reported killed, but police had not confirmed whether the shootings were the work of a lone gunman. But security staff at Parliament Hill informed some MP’s offices they believed there might be as many as three shooters.
RCMP advised people to stay away from Parliament Hill and those in downtown Ottawa to stay away from windows and off roofs. Police were searching rooftops in the immediate vicinity.
The Saskatchewan Legislature was put on high alert, as well as other provincial legislatures, and the B.C. Legislature was put under lockdown as a precaution.
Additional security measures were put in place at the Saskatchewan Legislature yesterday for the throne speech. Premier Brad Wall stated dogs were brought in to sweep through the legislature, and an outdoor ceremony was moved indoors as a precaution. The event was also changed to invitation-only, with the public barred from attending.
The shooting in Ottawa came two days after a man attacked two Canadian soldiers in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., killing one. The suspect was shot and killed by police.
It wasn’t the first time Ottawa has been attacked. About a dozen separate incidents have been reported over the past 50 years, including a man who accidentally blew himself up with dynamite in the Centre Block in 1966, an intruder carrying a knife who entered 24 Sussex Drive and made it to the bedroom of the sleeping prime minister Jean Chretien in 1995, and a grenade delivered to the Prime Minister’s Office in 2002.