An ottawa-BORN journalism lecturer living in West Yorkshire spoke last night of her shock after hearing of a shooting in her home city in which a soldier died.
The Canadian soldier shot at the National War Memorial was killed and another man, believed to be the attacker, also died.
Katherine Blair, 48, of Mirfield, West Yorkshire, who teaches journalism at Leeds Trinity University in Horsforth, Leeds, said: “Obviously, my reaction was one of shock.
“You don’t hear Ottawa on the news very often for anything, so to hear something so serious was terrible.
“I have friends in the area. One of my friends from high school was in lockdown in a building near the shooting and I have family in the area but I gather they are all OK.”
She came to England 22 years ago and worked for Yorkshire Television.
In Canada, Ottawa Police said the member of the Canadian Forces “succumbed to injuries” following a series of shooting incidents in the city yesterday morning.
One male suspect has also died, police added, describing the incident as an “ongoing” operation with no-one currently in custody.
Gunshots were also heard in a parliament building as the city went into lockdown, with an unknown number of gunmen on the loose.
But police said that, contrary to reports, no incident occurred at the Rideau Centre shopping mall.
Ottawa Police chief Charles Bordeleau told a press conference that emergency services received a number of calls at 9.52am.
He confirmed the incident inside Parliament Hill occurred after the shooting of the soldier.
The force said in a statement last night: “The Ottawa Police Service and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) responded to reports of shooting incidents this morning in the downtown area.
“Police can now confirm that incidents occurred at the National War Memorial and on Parliament Hill.”
Cabinet minister Tony Clement tweeted that at least 30 shots were fired while a meeting was taking place between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other MPs.
David Cameron responded to the events in Canada on Twitter saying: “I’m appalled by today’s attack in Ottawa.”