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Tags: Canada | Ottawa | parliament | terrorism

Reporter: 'Rooms Full' of Lawmakers as Ottawa Attack Unfolded

By    |   Thursday, 23 October 2014 12:08 PM EDT

The reporter who shot a video on Wednesday when a gunman entered the Canadian Parliament said the day had begun "as a regular morning here."

Josh Wingrove, reporter for "The Globe and Mail," told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" that he first uploaded the video, and then "kind of forgot about it." When he did watch the video a few hours later, he said it was "like living it for the first time."

Story continues below video.

The suspect in the shooting is 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who allegedly was shot and killed inside the Parliament complex by the governing body's Sergeant-at-Arms, Kevin Vickers. Bibeau had already allegedly killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who had been guarding Canada's National War Memorial nearby.

The video shows police with guns drawn walking down the building's Hall of Honor, which Wingrove said were the offices where the members of Parliament were meeting.

"It began as a regular morning here. Wednesday is a day when our members of Parliament are all in that building for meetings," Wingrove said Thursday.

Wingrove said he was writing a story about one of the ministers he had just interviewed when he heard gunfire, which was "out of the ordinary," and sounded like "a bookshelf falling." Then, he said he realized something more serious was happening.

"I looked around the corner into this rotunda, the atrium entryway, and saw smoke and smelled gunpowder and saw officers with their guns drawn and followed them, and that led to the video," Wingrove said.

He then explained he followed the police, but stayed "quite a ways back."

"It looked like they were on more of a hunt than a chase. It didn't look right at first as though they had someone in their sights. Instead, it was a case of them sort of looking for someone.

"That hallway they are moving up is called the Hall of Honor. It's sort of the backbone of the Parliament building. It runs down the middle of it. And, on either side were rooms full of parliamentarians. The prime minister was in the room on the left, over 200 MPs and Senators. You can imagine, one different turn things could have gone a lot differently.

"It was only afterwards that we learned what happened just behind me at the War Memorial with the death of a Canadian soldier — just a tragic turn of events. But, we didn't know that at the time. All we knew in that building is that we were under attack.

"It looked like he came in the door I used half an hour earlier, a door that MPs and staff and accredited journalists go in and out of.

"You flash a pass. There's no metal detector or anything. It looks like he came in there, and that's what leads to the rotunda and down that hallway.

"At the end of that hallway is the sergeant-at-arms' office. It's a ceremonial role, but he's also the boss of security. People have identified (Vickers) as the one that brought down the shooter.

"I couldn't see who brought (Bibeau) down. I saw a lot of people firing. To pick out which gun and which bullet proved fatal, I wasn't able to do that. Certainly, we've heard that people are crediting him with bringing down the shooter. The whole thing was, maybe, a couple minutes. It's just amazing, the blur of it all."

Wingrove said as a reporter he had received hostile environment training, which contributed to his response, though he also credited instinct.

"It was just more duck and cover that kicked in more than anything. I suppose that's the brunt of what they taught us back then. I just tried to stay back.

"All those offices that you see were the front of the sphere, and they were in harm's way far more than I think I was. I was just trying to document as best I could, and catch cover behind a wall or pillar as best I could.

"As the day went on, and we heard about the death of a soldier, just a tragic day here in Ottawa. We don't have this kind of thing often," he said.
Wingrove said that his "mom wasn't too pleased" with him for being close enough to document the incident, adding that she gave him "an earful last night."

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The reporter who shot a video on Wednesday when a gunman entered the Canadian Parliament said the day had begun "as a regular morning here."
Canada, Ottawa, parliament, terrorism
Thursday, 23 October 2014 12:08 PM
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