Wednesday, October 22, 2014


PM speaks on Ottawa shooting LIVE

CBC News has confirmed the Ottawa shooting victim is Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, 24, a reservist serving in Hamilton from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada regiment.

Ottawa police announced at a press conference Wednesday that the soldier shot while guarding the National War Memorial had died.​

"Our thoughts are with the member and the members of his family at this time," said RCMP Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud at the press conference.

"Remember how one person's life has been taken — from his family, from his friends, from the future that was supposed to be his," said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.

Cirillo's friend Marie Michele has been trying to make sense of the news all day. She first realized Cirillo had been shot when footage of paramedics trying to save his life was shown on television Wednesday morning.

"I saw his face and it was him," Michele said. "That's how I found out it was Nathan." Michele said he was the father of a young son.

"Nathan was a good man. He would give anything to anyone," she said. "He was there for everyone."

Cirillo was a former Good Life fitness employee. Michele said he also loved country music and had two German shepherds. He joined cadets when he was 13 years old.

Police have set up a roadblock around the Cirillo family's home in east Hamilton while they decide who will be their spokesperson. Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina has spoken with the family, and said they are in shock.

Members of the Argylls were standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa this week when Cirillo was shot. He was given emergency medical aid and sent to hospital in an ambulance.

A source who asked not to be identified told CBC News in Hamilton that members from the unit have all been ordered not to speak about the incident.

"They are now all on communication lockdown," the source said. "They've been told to put their phones away and all bases are all locked down." 

The James Street Armoury that is the base for the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada has been closed to the public after a reservist was shot and killed in Ottawa. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

The Argylls are an infantry unit of the Canadian Forces primary reserves within 31 Canadian Brigade Group. It is one of the largest army reserve units in the country with over 250 soldiers.

The soldiers who were guarding the National War Memorial are part of a ceremonial guard, and full-time and part-time soldiers are rotated through duty on an hourly or bi-hourly basis. They carry rifles that aren't loaded.

CBC News has obtained a copy of an email directed to student soldiers with the Armed Forces telling them not to wear their uniforms, even on base.

Another email sent to military personnel authorized the wearing of uniforms on base, as well as inside their cars while travelling between the base and their homes, but that they should avoid wearing their uniforms in all other cases. The email also instructed military personnel in uniform not to make any stops — not even at gas stations, day cares, schools and elsewhere - while travelling between their base and home.

At the armoury in Hamilton, non-uniformed people were passing in and out of the gates, with uniformed guards standing watch at each side. People have been bringing flowers and notices of condolences to the building. 

Flowers at the Hamilton armoury on James Street N., one with the note, "I'm Shocked. I'm Saddened. I'm with you. Canada - the True North, Strong + Free. -T. David Marshall" (Jeff Green/CBC)

Veteran Ed Hughes dropped off a cross to the armoury Wednesday. "I was injured in service," he said. "It broke my heart when I found out he was from Hamilton. It broke my heart he was a Sutherland."

Parliament Hill was attacked Wednesday after a man with a rifle shot the reservist standing guard at the memorial in downtown Ottawa before seizing a car and driving to the doors of Parliament Hill's Centre Block nearby.

MPs and other witnesses reported dozens of shots fired inside Parliament, and a gunman has been confirmed dead inside the building.

With files from the CBC's Adam Carter and Stephanie Matteis

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