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Canada Parliament shooting: How it unfolded

By Ed Payne, CNN
updated 6:25 AM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
  • Sources: Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was the suspected gunman
  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper calls the gunman a "terrorist"
  • Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a Canadian soldier, was shot and killed

(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.