The assault on Canada’s parliament has shaken the country.
In the minutes after the shootings police told those in the vicinity to stay away from windows and roofs.
With security at Canadian government buildings normally low key, the sound of gunshots was greeted with disbelief.
“Well, we were working on the statue and I heard a bunch of pops. I thought it was just firecrackers going off, so I look across the street and there was a man with a rifle, shooting at a bunch of people. So I yelled at all my guys, ‘there’s a guy shooting, so everyone get down, get down,” said one eyewitness.
When police stormed the building, staff working in parliamentary offices fled. One witness said everything happened so quickly he didn’t have time to be afraid.
John McKay, Canada Liberal MP said:
“I literally, I was just taking off my jacket to go into caucus, I hear this pop, pop, pop. Possibly ten shots, don’t really know. Thought it was dynamite or construction rather than anything else.”
Some MPs said they owed their lives to parliament’s Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers who shot the attacker outside the caucus rooms.
In addition to the death of one soldier at least three other people were injured in the incident.