Shooting in Ottawa leads to lockdowns across Canada

Posted on Oct 24, 2014

Much of Canada's federal capital, Ottawa, was in various states of lockdown on Oct. 22. The precautions came after the fatal shooting of a Canadian armed forces soldier in the downtown area's National War Memorial and reports of more gunfire in other government buildings. USA Today said police were investigating multiple reports and that at least one gunman had been identified running toward and into the Canadian Parliament building. The publication also mentioned reports of shooting at a nearby shopping center. All three buildings are within blocks of each other in Ottawa's downtown area.

The National War Memorial in Ottawa was the site of a fatal shooting on Oct 22

Lockdown in Ottawa
The government buildings in the city were closed to the public and otherwise shut down as a precautionary measure following the shootings. Many commercial and industrial buildings as well as schools in the downtown region were also shuttered as police and military searched for the suspects.

"Most of downtown Ottawa is in lockdown," Marc Soucy, Ottawa police constable, told USA Today.

Beyond the lockdown of specific buildings, USA Today reported that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police warned residents of the city in general to exercise care and stay off rooftops and away from windows until the situation was resolved. Vehicle travel in the area was also heavily restricted, although Ottawa's international airport remained open with extra attention from law enforcement and security officials.

Precautions across the world
Beyond the city center, government buildings across the nation and in the U.S. were also closed to the public or locked down. Global News reported that the Nova Scotia legislature in Halifax, as well as those in Quebec, New Brunswick, British Columbia and Manitoba, were all operating under heightened security procedures. Crisis management was also a point of emphasis in locations as far away as Washington, D.C., where the Canadian embassy was closed to outside visitors. The Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, where the Toronto Maple Leafs were in town to play the Ottawa Senators, was also closed, and the game was postponed.

The shooting incidents slowed the progress of travelers throughout Ottawa in many situations and stopped them from completing their journeys in some cases. The precautionary measures taken in Ottawa also stopped or slowed work at a sizeable number of businesses, causing logistical problems for companies and the general public as well.

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