OTTAWA (CBSMiami) –Tonight, Canadian officials are using the word "terrorist" to describe the man who shot and killed a soldier in the capital city before engaging a gunfight inside the nation's parliament building.
Gunfire pierced Canada's parliament building this morning as guards chased a gun-man through Ottawa's halls of power. Politicians barricaded themselves inside meeting rooms.
"I was just taking off my jacket to go into caucus," said John McKay, a member of parliament. "I hear this pop, pop, pop."
The attack began just before 10 a.m. across the street at Canada's National War Memorial.
Ottawa police say a gunman drove up and shot a soldier standing guard at point blank range. Corporal Nathan Cirillo was taken to a hospital. The 24-year-old died of his injuries.
Amateur video is believed to show the shooter getting back into his car. He's identified as Michael Abdul Zehaf-Bibeau, a 32-year-old Canadian citizen and recent convert to Islam.
The gunman made it inside parliament and was killed by a sergeant at arms, Kevin Vickars. At least three others were injured.
The attack comes after police link the death of another soldier on Monday in Quebec to a terrorist act by a suspected jihadist.
"This week's events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world," said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Tonight, the obvious question authorities want answered is does the gunman have a connection to a terrorist organization or was he a so called "lone wolf."
His passport was seized by Canadian officials are he was preparing to leave the county recently. The White House says it is closely monitoring the situation.
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