The solider killed today by a masked gunman as he stood guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada, has been named locally as Corporal Nathan Cirillo, while a deceased suspect has been identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.
Cirillo, 24, a reservist with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders within the Canadian Armed Forces, was shot in the chest by the assailant. He was put in an ambulance but latter “succumbed to his injuries”, Ottawa Police said.
The shooter then jumped into a car and sped off, though whether this gunman was behind the shoot-out at the Canadian Parliament minutes later is still unconfirmed. An assailant who entered Parliament was shot dead by sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers.
A Canadian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the dead suspect is Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, Associated Press reports, but could not give more details on a possible motive nor details of his background.
However, local reports say that Zehaf-Bibeau was Canadian-born, while Reuters have reported that he was a convert to Islam and was from Quebec.
Earlier today at a press conference following the dramatic incident in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, Mayor Jim Watson said: “I urge all of my fellow residents to think of the individual standing on guard this morning at the National War Memorial.
As reported by CBC News, Cirillo was just one of the guards on duty, who make up of a larger roster of soldiers that rotate on an hourly or bi-hourly basis. They also carry unloaded rifles.
Officials also said that the incident "caught us surprise", despite the government upgrading its terror threat from low to medium a day prior due to "general chatter" online from jihadist groups including Isis.
An Facebook group in memory of Cirillo has already had over 10,000 followers, with friends and acquaintances of the solider reportedly emailing in their memories of him.
A comment on his profile picture on Facebook reads: “RIP Nathan! Thank you for defending our country, your son is so proud of you. I miss you.”
Student soldiers within the Armed Forces have also reportedly been told not to wear their uniforms, including when on base or inside their cars.
At the press conference today officials also said that today's incident "caught us by surprise", despite the threat level being raised from low to
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