Surrey MPs are safe, but remain under lockdown on Parliament Hill in Ottawa following a shooting Wednesday morning.
The situation began when a soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial was shot by a lone gunman at roughly 10 a.m. (EDT). The gunman continued on to Parliament Hill’s Centre Block. Several shots were fired inside the buildings, and the gunman has been confirmed dead.
The soldier has also died.
But for several hours after, there were fears of two or three additional shooters.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper was at Parliament Hill when the shooting took place, but was safely taken away.
MPs from Surrey and North Delta remain in the Parliament buildings, reporting that they are safe but alarmed after the shooting and subsequent search for gunmen.
Two Surrey MPs are in lockdown with their New Democrat colleagues, sitting quietly in the room where they were holding their weekly caucus meeting when shots rang out, with Burnaby-New Westminster MP Peter Julien saying the gunman was at one point right outside the door.
Jasbir Sandhu, MP for Surrey-North, was on Twitter at about 7 a.m. (PDT), saying shots had been fired in the House of Commons.
“Many many shots fired… scary,” Sandhu wrote.
Shortly after, he said shots had stopped and the Parliament building was in lockdown and people in the silent room were being asked to lay down on the floor.
He said some MPs were in the same room as him, while others were in a different room with heavy, armed security in the hallway.
“We are being told second shooter is still outside…we r safe inside,” Sandhu tweeted just before 9 a.m. “Wont be going out anytime soon. One shooter dead in center block.”
A half hour later, Newton-North Delta MP Jinny Simms tweeted “Thanks4messages. I am with other caucus members. Lockdown. But we are safe. Cannot believe this is happening in my Canada.”
Fleetwood-Port Kells MP Nina Grewal posted a photograph on Twitter from the Reading Room, where politicians and staff were behind doors barricaded with furniture.
At 10:40 a.m. (PDT) a security alert was circulated by email warning all Parliament buildings remain on lockdown.
“This means staying in your office, with the doors locked and away from the windows,” the alert said. “If your door does not lock, find a way to barricade the door, if possible. Do not open the door under any circumstances.”
Grewal called her consitituency office in Ottawa to say she was safe, but was “obviously upset” said her assistant Paul Wear.
“She’s in the Conservative meeting room, and the shooting took place directly outside. Other than that, all we know is what we see on the news.”
At least one Surrey student was in Ottawa this week with the Encounters With Canada (EWC) program, a week-long youth forum for teens from across Canada that usually includes a trip to the Parliament buildings. The organization’s website assured the teens were safe Wednesday morning, posting: “All EWC participants are safe and sound here at the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre.”