As the situation continues to unfold in the Nation’s capital, the local police force is increasing their awareness in the community.
“We have no indication of any perceived threat in Chatham-Kent,” Inspector Ed Reed of the Chatham-Kent Police Service told the Sydenham Current. “We are aware of the on-going situation in Ottawa and we are taking the appropriate steps to monitor the situation as it unfolds.”
Reed said patrols will be increased around the MP offices in Chatham-Kent and at the Chatham Armouries.
“We’re going to step up our awareness,” Reed said. “There is no way to tell when these kind of events will happen. Everyone should be a little bit more aware.”
The Ottawa Police Service and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) released a statement about the incidents from this morning.
“Police can now confirm that incidents occurred at the National War Memorial and on Parliament Hill,” the statement read. “One shooting victim succumbed to injuries. He was a member of the Canadian Forces. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his loved ones.Next of kin notification is underway and as such, the victim’s identification will not be released.”
“One male suspect has also been confirmed deceased. There is no further update on injuries at this time. This is an ongoing joint police operation and there is no one in custody at this time.”
The effects of the incident have been felt locally.
The constituency office for MP Bev Shipley is closed in Wallaceburg.
The sign on the doors reads: “Due to the situation in Ottawa this office has been closed… we will re-open Friday, Oct. 24.”
MP’s offices across the country has also been closed.
Shipley himself is in lockdown in a secure location in Ottawa.
“Bev is in a locked secure room with some other MP’s and staff,” said Wallaceburg resident Pat Davis, the chief of staff for Shipley.
We’re working on getting more information from MP Shipley and his office.
The Sydenham Current has also spoken with a couple of individuals, who are from the area, and are now living in Ottawa.
Former Chatham resident Brennan Heath is on lockdown, along with his wife, in their downtown Ottawa office.
“I’m about 100 metres from the War Memorial, and just a bit more than 100 metres from Parliament,” Heath said. “We started to hear a lot of noise… sirens, etc. coming from the base of Sparks and Queen Street. It was actually Twitter that tipped me off that there was a shooting.”
Heath said he works as the marketing and communications officer for United Way Centraide Canada.
“The mood is definitely somber, and a bit surreal,” Heath said. “The news footage being looped on CBC is showing Sparks Street, right in front of our office, with SWAT, armoured cars, etc. Not something that you expect to see. We also walk past that memorial all the time.”
Wallaceburg’s Brittany Fish, who is now a lawyer in Ottawa, was grabbing a coffee when someone yelled that shots were fired.
“All of a sudden security came over the announcement and said we were on lockdown,” she said. “You could see the police rushing people away from Parliament. There are police running around with guns everywhere. Very sad.”
Fish managed to snap a number of photos, which she provided to the Sydenham Current.
We’ll provide more information as it becomes available.