Strahl safe following Parliament Hill shooting

Chilliwack MP Mark Strahl says he is safe following a shooting on Parliament Hill earlier today that has left one soldier dead.

The Chilliwack constituency office of Mark Strahl was closed Wednesday following a shooting on Parliament Hill earlier in the day.

Chilliwack MP Mark Strahl says he is safe following a shooting on Parliament Hill earlier today that has left one soldier dead.

In an event that is still unfolding, masked gunmen shot and wounded one soldier at the National War Memorial in Ottawa Wednesday morning.

A gunman then fled to the Parliament buildings where several shots were fired.

Media reports indicate the soldier has since died from his wounds and that at least one gunman was shot and killed inside the Parliament buildings.

MPs, including Strahl, were attending their regular Wednesday morning caucus meetings when the shootings occurred.

“Very tense situation in Ottawa this morning,” Strahl tweeted at around 8:30 a.m. local time. “Multiple gun shots fired outside of our caucus room. I am safe and in lockdown. Unbelievable.”

A couple of hours later he confirmed for The Progress that he was still in lockdown in CentreBlock and that the situation remained “fluid” on the Hill.

Wednesday’s shooting follows the death of Canadian soldier Patrice Vincent who was struck and killed by a vehicle driven by Martin (Ahmad) Couture-Rouleau, while he was walking with another soldier in Quebec on Monday.

Police believe the soldiers were targeted by Couture-Rouleau, who had recently joined a radical form of Islam.

In Chilliwack, meanwhile, the gates to the local military base – home to the 39th Combat Engineers and Royal Westminster Regiment – remained open. A military police officer was stationed at the entrance, checking the ID of anyone who entered.

Capt. Donna Riguidel said no official lockdown order was given to the military base here. Speaking from headquarters in Edmonton, she said base commanders are given the discretion to assess the local situation and respond accordingly.

In other parts of the country Canadian Forces Bases and many other federal facilities were closed to visitors and military personnel have reportedly been directed not to wear uniforms in public unless they are on active duty.

No specific order has been given here, Capt. Riguidel said, “however the situation remains very fluid.”

Several constituency offices around the country, including Strahl’s Chilliwack office, were closed Wednesday.

At the RCMP’s Pacific Region Training Centre in the Canada Education Park, the Officer in Charge said there was a subtle change in their operations.

“Day to day business continues on, but we’ve heightened our security as we should after something like this,” said Michel Legault. “We’ve increased security at the main entry points and restricted the number of access points accordingly. But the PRTC has not initiated any lock-down procedures today.”

Watch for more information as it becomes available.

Follow live tweets on the incident here.

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