A Canadian soldier guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa was shot and killed Wednesday, and a burst of gunfire minutes later terrorized Parliament and sent lawmakers scrambling for safety.
Sources identified the gunman to NBC News as Michael Joseph Hall, 32, a convert to Islam who was using the name Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. He was confirmed dead. Canadian media, quoting an aunt, identified the victim as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo of Hamilton, Ontario, a member of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, one of Canada's largest reserve units.
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Few details of either man were immediately available, and confusion continued to grip Canada's capital for hours after the attack began. Police couldn't say whether the same person opened fire in both places, whether anyone was still on the loose or what the motive might have been.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was on Parliament Hill when the first shots were fired, was whisked to safety. Members of the legislature barricaded themselves in their offices and piled chairs high against doors for safety.
"This is a dynamic and unfolding situation," said Gilles Michaud, a commander with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
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Ottawa Hospital said it had three patients, all of them with minor injuries.
The attack came at a time of heightened concern about terrorism in Canada. On Monday, a man described as a radical Islamic convert ran down two Canadian soldiers with his car, killing one of them.
NBC News reported this week that Canadian officials have been concerned about the potential for knife and gun attacks, including strikes against military personnel, because of the nation's involvement in international fight against ISIS.