A Canadian soldier was killed today in Ottawa and a Parliamentary Hill security guard was injured.
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo died from gunshot wounds suffered near the National War Memorial.
A gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was later shot and killed on Parliament Hill by sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers in a dramatic shooting inside centre block, reported the CBC.
The CBC also reported that Ottawa police and the military would not say if there was a second suspect in relation to the gunfire around the central block of Parliament Hill.
Dozens of shots were fired inside the Parliament Hill as recorded by Globe and Mail reporter Josh Wingrove.
During the incident all buildings surrounding Parliament Hill were placed under lockdown, including Ottawa University, the Rideau Centre, and the U.S embassy.
Global News reported that people inside Parliament Hill barricaded themselves inside their offices and police told them to keep doors locked under any circumstances.
The Toronto Star reported that despite earlier reports, Ottawa police said there was no gun fire at the Rideau Centre.
The University of Ottawa issued a campus-wide lockdown at around 11 a.m. and many students remained hiding for hours.
Some students were dissatisfied with the level of information provided to them about the lockdown. “I was really mad at the terrible communication and misinformation we’ve received,” said Ethan Elliott, at the university.
“I was on campus when it happened and no one knew what they were doing. The campus was supposed to be on lockdown but people were walking around freely without a clue of the situation.”
Fourth-year science major Jordi Goldberg ran to the nearby human kinetics building and locked herself in the office with ten other people following a lockdown email.
“It’s pretty scary,” said Goldberg. “We’ve been here for two hours and we’re getting restless and want to leave.”
Ottawa police advised residents to stay away from the downtown core, according to The Globe and Mail.
The security threat reached Toronto.
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying that Torontonians would see a “very visible police presence” in the coming days around public institutions and spaces.
However, he said there is no need for concern at the present moment.
“There is no specific or identified credible threat to any individual or public institution in Toronto at this time,” says Blair.
The Ryersonian will continue to follow the story.
UPDATE: Canadian Forces are being asked to take extra security precautions across the country following the deaths of two soldiers following the Parliament Hill attacks. To ensure the safety of military personnel, they have been instructed by Rear Admiral John Newton to avoid wearing uniform in public to avoid being targeted, according to a source from the Defence Deparment, the Toronto Star reported.
But not everyone agreed with the idea and took to Twitter to express their own.
Soldiers in Ottawa told not to wear uniforms to work. If we're afraid they'll be targeted I'd prefer to see all of Ottawa don a uniform.
— Andrew Potter (@jandrewpotter) October 23, 2014
— DR (@Media371) October 23, 2014
— Hava Batia (@HavBat22) October 23, 2014
It takes a strong person to put on boots and a uniform every day & protect our country. I may not support our leaders. But soldiers, 100%!
— Aimee (@AimeeAuthor) October 7, 2014
With files from Ramna Shazad, Dillon Li, and Natalie Marynowski.
Below: Our live blog details the tragedy as it unfolded.