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Soldier, Gunman Dead After Ottawa Shooting

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Canadian officals are piecing together information about a deadly shooting at the Parliament today. A gunman a soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottowa, then moved on to the country's parliament building where he was killed. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed his nation this evening.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

STEPHEN HARPER: In the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had, but 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.

CORNISH: Kim Mackrael has been working this story for the Globe and Mail in Ottowa, and she joins us now to tell us more. Welcome to the program.

KIM MACKRAEL: Hi. Thanks for having me.

CORNISH: What more can you tell us about the shooter?

MACKRAEL: Yeah, so the newspaper - the Globe and Mail is now identifying, and a number of media outlets have identified the suspected shooter as a man named Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. We believe he's in his early 30s, and we think he was known to Canadian authorities before this happened. So we actually understand through sources that he was designated as a high-risk traveler by the Canadian government before this happened, and his passport had actually been taken away. And that's actually the same circumstance - same thing that happened in the case of the suspected individual who was involved in the death of an armed forces member in Quebec just a couple of days ago.

CORNISH: At this point, what other details have the police offered about the background of this gunman?

MACKRAEL: Yeah, so they haven't officially offered any information about the person. They haven't confirmed the name. We don't know a lot of detail about his background - we - apart from knowing that he was being watched by police before this. What we've heard from witnesses who saw the incident or saw him coming up towards Parliament Hill - they described him as having long, dark hair, wearing a scarf that by the time he got to Parliament Hill covered most of his face and carrying this large double barrel shotgun. We don't know a lot, to be honest, about how - whether he has connections to anyone else, what was behind some of his interests in this.

CORNISH: Ottawa police - have they said whether there might be another shooter? Is that still a possibility being discussed?

MACKRAEL: They haven't. They haven't said that. There was a lot of speculation about that, and particularly because during the hours - one or two hours after the shootings on Parliament Hill, police were pushing reporters and other bystanders further and further back from the Parliamentary precinct, telling them at times that they were worried about another shooter being out on the loose - that there was still a serious danger. We heard at one point police talking about the possibility of somebody on the rooftop and telling people to get inside buildings and a SWAT team sort of rushing to different areas in the downtown.

So it had, for hours, looked as though they were still looking for somebody else, but we haven't heard anything confirmed from them as to whether there's - they believe there's another or any other suspects.

CORNISH: Kim Mackrael of The Globe and Mail newspaper speaking with us from Ottawa, thank you so much.

MACKRAEL: Thank you very much. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.