(The RCMP released video of the National War Memorial shooter Thursday in Ottawa. Above, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau is seen running on Parliament Hill with a rifle where he hijacked a car, drove up to Centre Block and shot his way inside.)
APTN National News
OTTAWA–After Michael Zehaf-Bibeau gunned down reservist Nathan Cirillo with two shots from his 30-30 Winchester, lever-action rifle, he fired a third time, missing the second reservist who was also standing in ceremonial guard at the National War Memorial by the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
It was shortly after 9:50 a.m.
Surveillance camera images released by the RCMP Thursday tell the rest of the story.
After gunning down Cpl. Cirillo, Zehaf-Bibeau quickly left the scene and jumped into a beige car he bought on Oct. 21 in Ottawa. The vehicle was parked on Wellington St. facing east. The 32 year-old then swung around and drove west on Wellington St. and parked in front of one of the entrances to Parliament Hill.
On the sidewalk people were running away from the sound of shots fired at the National War Memorial. One man approached Zehaf-Bibeau’s car as he stopped, but the man quickly scrambled away once the Libyan-Canadian emerged with the rifle.
It was now 9:52 a.m. and Ottawa police were receiving their first flood of 911 calls. By this time Zehaf-Bibeau was in a full sprint headed toward three cabinet ministers’ cars parked in front of Parliament Hill’s East Block. He zeroed in on the car at the front of the line and forced the driver out of the car at rifle-point. The driver sprinted away from the scene and Zehaf-Bibeau then drove to the front of Centre Block, parked to the left of the Peace Tower and entered the front doors of Parliament Hill.
It was 9:53 a.m.
The video shows at least two RCMP vehicles on the Hill finally reacting to the situation. But it was too late. Zehaf-Bibeau entered the front of Centre Block before the RCMP officers could get him.
It took Zehaf-Bibeau 1:23 seconds to get from his beige car and through the front doors into Centre Block while Prime Minister Stephen Harper was meeting with his caucus.
Zehaf-Bibeau was eventually gunned down in a hail of bullets inside Centre Block’s Hall of Honour as MPs from the NDP and the Conservative caucus met in rooms across from each other.
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson told reporters Zehaf-Bibeau acted alone.
Zehaf-Bibeau, who had a criminal record in Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver, arrived in Ottawa on Oct. 2 seeking to obtain a passport to eventually fly to Syria, Paulson said. The RCMP was asked to run a background check on Zehaf-Bibeau, who was not on any national security watch list.
Paulson said a delay in getting his passport may have been one of the main motivating factors that drove Zehaf-Bibeau to kill.
“Clearly it’s linked to his radicalization,” said Paulson.
According to a psychiatric assessment on Zehaf-Bibeau from 2011 and obtained by CTV, he had been a covert to Islam for nearly a decade.
Paulson said an email from Zehaf-Bibeau was also found in a hard drive belonging to a person charged with terrorism-related offences.
The name of the alleged terrorist wasn’t provided.
Paulson said the email may have been considered minor before Wednesday’s deadly shooting, but taken on a new dimension given Wednesday’s events.
Paulson also said there’s no evidence of a link between Zehaf-Bibeau and Martin Couture-Rouleau, who ran down two Canadian soldiers in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., on Monday.