OTTAWA/TORONTO - Security in Canada's capital came under criticism on Wednesday after a gunman was able to run through the unlocked front door of the main parliament building and get close to Prime Minister Stephen Harper before being taken down in a flurry of gunfire.
The gunman had first shot and killed a soldier at the nearby National War Memorial in central Ottawa before running into the parliament building, according to media reports. Canadian police have not confirmed that the gunman who shot the soldier was the same one killed in parliament by security forces.
Parliament Hill "is an icon of the government, and it would be expected to be one of the hardest of hard targets in this nation. It is therefore of abiding concern that this could have transpired," said David Harris, a security consultant at Insignis Strategic Research and a former contractor for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Canada's spy agency.
"There appears to be little in one's way to make the initial entry into Canada's parliament."
The shooting came just two days after an Islamic convert ran down two Canadian soldiers with his car, killing one, before being shot and killed by police. That incident took place near Montreal.