(CNN) -- Canadians feared this day, hoping it would never come but also knowing the odds probably weren't in their favor either.
Not in this era of senseless gun violence, home-grown jihadists, and terrorist organizations with international reach.
On Wednesday, a gunman opened fire in the heart of the Canadian capital, shattering a nation's sense of security.
Questions galore: What prompted the attack? Is there a link to terrorism?
Whatever the answers, one thing is clear: As one resident put it, "Canada lost its innocence today."
This is how it unfolded.