CORNWALL, Ontario – Shots were fired at Parliament Hill and surrounding areas in Ottawa Wednesday, and one person was killed.
MP Guy Lauzon and his Ottawa staff are safe said his assistant Eric Duncan.
Others from Cornwall who work at government offices near Parliament Hill were on lockdown, as well as local students who attend the University of Ottawa. Those lockdowns were lifted later in the day, though public access to Parliament Hill is still prohibited.
An assailant shot a solider at the National War Memorial in the nation’s capital. The soldier, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, later died in hospital.
Shots also rang out in the Centre Block at Parliament Hill where an assailant, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, was killed by Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers.
Police later confirmed Zehaf-Bibeau acted alone.
Several dozen shots were heard at Parliament Hill.
“I’m in Cornwall. Guy and our staff are safe…and in lockdown,” Duncan said in a Tweet to Seaway News Wednesday morning. “Thoughts and prayers are (with) colleagues.”
In a brief phone exchange in the afternoon Duncan said Lauzon and his staff remained in lockdown, but media reports Wednesday night suggested lockdowns were being eased.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair were all safe.
Shanna Germain, a Cornwall area woman who works at the Bank of Canada which is three blocks from Parliament Hill, said her office was on lockdown as well.
“They sent out a bank-wide email letting us know for security reasons we are on lockdown,” she told Seaway News. “I think almost everyone is checking the news sites and Twitter to see what is going on.”
Cornwall police also kept tabs on the incident.
“The Cornwall Community Police Service would like to advise the public that they are monitoring the situation in Ottawa where shots were fired at the War Memorial,” police said in statement. “The Cornwall Community Police Service has no indication that Cornwall is at risk and further advises that the situation is being thoroughly investigated by RCMP and Ottawa Police Service.
“The Cornwall Community Police Service will continue to monitor the current situation.”
Cornwall police were conducting an exercise in the city Wednesday at Cornwall Centre Road, which was unrelated to the Ottawa shooting.
Some schools in the Cornwall area were in a “hold and secure” mode for a time Wednesday, but it was lifted after less than an hour.