HUFFINGTON POST
10/23/2014 08:27 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Canadian Police: Only One Shooter In Ottawa Attack

Canadian authorities confirmed early Thursday that there was only one shooter in Wednesday's horrific attack in Ottawa, the Associated Press reported.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, was shot dead after opening fire near the Canadian Parliament building, killing Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and wounding three other people.

An Ottawa police spokesman had previously told HuffPost that they were looking for multiple possible suspects, but would not confirm the news later in a press conference.

Witnesses say Zehaf-Bibeau shot Cpl. Nathan Cirillo near the National War Memorial at point-blank range on Wednesday morning before being chased inside the Canadian Parliament building, where he was killed by Kevin Vickers, a sergeant-at-arms.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper characterized the attack as an act of terrorism and vowed a renewed crackdown on terrorist activity.

"This will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts and those of our national security agencies to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats," Harper said in a televised address late on Wednesday.

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OTTAWA, CANADA - OCTOBER 22: RCMP and Ottawa police cruisers on Wellington St. stand guard after a shooting occurred at the National War Memorial near the Canadian Parliament October 22, 2014 in Ottawa, Canada. (Mike Carroccetto/Getty Images)

Officials told the Globe and Mail that the Canadian government had been monitoring Zehaf-Bibeau over potential suspicious activity. He was deemed a "high-risk traveler" and had his passport taken away.

The Associated Press reports that court records appear to indicate that Zehaf-Bibeau had a string of convictions for assault, robbery, drug and weapons offenses, and other crimes.

A friend told the Globe and Mail that Zehaf-Bibeau had experienced a religious reawakening of late. Senior U.S. officials confirmed to the New York Times that he had recently converted to Islam.

In a brief interview with the Associated Press on Thursday, Zehaf-Bibeau's mother said she was crying for the victim's of Wednesday's attack, not for her son.

"Can you ever explain something like this?" she said. "We are sorry."

Wednesday's shooting came just days after a similar attack in Quebec, where Martin Rouleau-Couture attacked two soldiers with his car, killing one, before being apprehended by police. Rouleau-Couture was also a recent convert to Islam who was being monitored by federal authorities.

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RCMP and Ottawa police cruisers on Wellington St. stand guard after a shooting occurred at the Graphic shows the locations of the National War Monument, Parliament and a shopping mall in Ottawa, Canada.

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