Members of the Hamilton-based Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada had been the sentries at the National War Memorial in Ottawa this week.
At 9:52 a.m. on Oct. 22, two soldiers were on guard at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa when one was shot. Witnesses reported hearing four gunshots.
Raivo Nommick, who was walking by the memorial, said: "All of a sudden I just heard a shot, turned around and there was a guy with a rifle."
More shots rang out and Nommick saw the other soldier come running over and the first soldier drop.
Nommick says he "immediately called 911."
He says the shooter had "a long-barrelled rifle" and "was dressed in civilian clothes with a hoodie and a bandana."
Jan Lugtenborg, a Dutch tourist, was waiting for a tour bus when he heard four shots.
"The guy who shot, he was a small man with long black hair," Lugtenborg said. The shooter "suddenly crossed the street with his long rifle ... running like hell" towards Parliament Hill.
Another witness described the shooter as five feet nine inches tall and overweight, with a scarf covering his face.
Others say he was wearing a hoodie and a bandana covering his face.
Two witnesses said he was wearing a black jacket.
Other witnesses told CBC News the gunman got into a car. "He got into a car and drove away," an unidentified man said.
Another eyewitness, Alberta Labour Minister Ric McIver, says he and his chief of staff were crossing the street when he heard gun shots. Looking towards the National War Memorial, he saw a gunman running. They took cover behind some blocks.
McIver says moments later, the gunman "pulled up in that brown Toyota and right beside us so we kind of got out of the way." McIver said he then saw "him going around the corner to the Parliament buildings."
Moments later on Parliament Hill
Around this time, other some eyewitnesses say a grey Toyota Corolla without front or back licence plates was parked on Wellington Street in front of Parliament Hill. Some witnesses said they saw two shooters emerge from the vehicle.
The CBC's Evan Solomon says he later saw a beat-up, beige Corolla with no licence plates parked about eight meters from the War Memorial on Wellington. It was surrounded by police, who told Solomon it was the suspect's car.
Scott Walsh was on Wellington Street, in front of the Parliament buildings. He said he saw a man with "a scarf, long black hair -- he was wearing blue pants and a black jacket and he had a double-barrelled shotgun -- and he ran up the side of this building here and hijacked a car at gunpoint."
Alain Merisier, a cafeteria worker on Parliament Hill, said he saw a man drive up to the Hill in a black Chrysler and enter Parliament armed with a hunting rifle. The man's description matches Walsh's.
Another witness said the RCMP were in pursuit of the man with the rifle.
Witnesses said a shooter entered the Centre Block through the main door, which usually has two guards. One of the witnesses is NDP press secretary Greta Levy. She said the gunman was two or three metres away when he passed her "just walking," and with "his face uncovered" on his way to the Centre Block doors.
Shots are fired
Levy told CBC News that about 10 seconds later, she heard "a lot of shots."
It was about 9:55 a.m. when shooting began in the Centre Block lobby.
Globe and Mail reporter Josh Wingrove was there and writes that he saw, "police moving from that door down a hallway known as the Hall of Honour that links the foyer to the Library of Parliament, which is at the back of the Centre Block building.
“Once police were halfway down the hallway, gunfire erupted again - an estimated two dozen shots that ended with a motionless body falling from a doorway just in front of the library. It was unclear who the person was. Guards briefly appeared to check for a pulse before beginning a search of the rest of the building."
Party caucus meetings were underway in the Centre Block.
Liberal MP Gerry Byrne, who was not at his party’s caucus meeting, said that after hearing shots, he looked out a "fifth-floor window and witnessed RCMP cars racing to the Centre Block from where they were stationed around the Parliamentary precinct."
Byrne said he saw "police exit their vehicles with machine guns drawn and enter the front doors of the Parliament building."
Liberal MP Marc Garneau said that at his party’s caucus meeting on the main floor, there was confusion over whether the shots were fired from inside or outside the building.
Reports from a number of politicians say Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers shot an attacker just outside the MPs' caucus rooms.
Garneau said they were evacuated and could "smell the gunpowder even though we were outside."
Other people were fleeing the Parliament buildings, some by scrambling down scaffolding erected for renovations.
Garneau said he saw “the prime minister’s cavalcade of three armoured SUVs appear in the back.”
Emergency personnel at the National War Memorial
Back at the National War Memorial, people were performing CPR on the soldier who was shot. Paramedics then arrived and took over. He was placed on a stretcher and put into an ambulance shortly after 10 a.m.
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlander soldier arrived at the Civic campus of Ottawa Hospital at 10:20.
A short time later, the RCMP issued a statement advising people to keep away from Parliament Hill because of an “ongoing police incident.” It was then unknown whether a shooter or shooters were still on the loose.
At about this time at the Rideau Centre Mall, which is east of the Memorial – Parliament Hill is to the west – shopper Kaitie MacKenzie told CBC News an alarm went off and chaos ensued.
"We were absolutely terrified," she said.
There were initial reports that there was a shooting at the mall, but Ottawa police spokesman Marc Soucy later said the shooting was near the Rideau Centre, not inside.
An Aldo Shoes employee working in the Rideau Centre told CBC News they were in lockdown inside their stores. He said police were running through the mall.
Confusion about the shootings
At the time, it was unclear to police whether that was a separate shooting or the one at the War Memorial.
At 11:21, Ottawa Police tweeted, "#Ottpolice and @RCMPGRCpolice investigating several shooting incidents in downtown #Ottawa."
At 1:45 p.m., Ottawa Police issued a statement saying: "Contrary to earlier reports no incident occurred near the Rideau Centre."
At 11 a.m. the Government Operations Centre emailed government employees that "a situation is unfolding that compels all employees to shelter-in-place. For employees' and your own safety, PCO (Privy Council Office) is requesting that employees DO NOT exit their building until further notice and are to wait until they receive further instructions."
At about 12:30 p.m., it was confirmed that the soldier shot at the war memorial had died. He is reservist Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24 years old.
At 12:40 p.m. Ottawa police spokesman Soucy said on CBC-TV: "Ottawa Police and the RCMP are investigating several shooting incidents in the downtown area. We ask all the downtown core to go into a lockdown, meaning stay away from bus stops and windows.”
Soucy also said: "All Ottawa police officers that are available are on this call.”
At 12:50 p.m., the Ottawa Hospital issued a news release saying that the hospital "had received three patients, two of which are in stable condition."
One of the patients, a Parliament hill security guard, was treated and released after being shot in the foot. The other two patients were also released.
Suspect confirmed deceased, identified
At 1:45 p.m., an Ottawa Police news release said "one male suspect has also been confirmed deceased" and "there is no one in custody at this time."
CBC News has confirmed the gunman killed as a result of the Parliament attack is Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian born Oct. 16, 1982.
Police also asked Ottawa residents "to stay away from the downtown area while the investigation continues."
At 5:10 p.m. an Ottawa Police news release puts the the number of shooting incidents at two. It also asks people within the safety perimeter to "stay inside your building until further notice" and told who live inside the perimeter they "will not have access."
By 8:25 p.m. police had lifted the security perimeter, although the police operation was continuing on Parliament Hill, according to the Ottawa Police Service.