Shooting on Parliament Hill: What CBC's raw camera footage shows
3 CBC/Radio-Canada camera crews on Parliament Hill as shots rang out
On the morning a gunman ran in the front door of Parliament Hill's Centre Block, CBC/Radio-Canada had assigned three television crews to cover the arrival of MPs and Senators to weekly party caucus meetings.
When shots rang out, news instincts kicked in and they started recording.
- Terry Milewski: Reconstructing the Centre Block shootout
- WATCH: 3 cameras, 3 videos reveal how the shooting unfolded
The lenses and microphones of Jean Brousseau and Martin Blais, Mike dePaul and Danny Leduc, and Yves Levesque became our eyes and ears, witnessing a scary chapter in Canadian parliamentary history.
The footage, some of it not yet broadcast, is a real-time record as the emergency unfolded.
Throughout, the television crews, other journalists and security guards talk to each other, expressing shock, fear and confusion.
What to watch for
- The shooting itself is not visible on tape, but all three cameras recorded audio of gunshots. On the Brousseau tape, shot closest to the action, you can hear yelling, then a single shot, then a pause, then another single shot, then another pause, then a lot of yelling, then another single shot, a pause and then a barrage of gunfire. Although the hallway has many echoes, the single shots sound different from the barrage. It's possible, based on what's been revealed about the gunman's weapon and how many bullets he would have had left after a confrontation at the front door that left one officer injured, that the single shots are from the gunman's weapon, but further investigation would be required to confirm this.
- On the Levesque tape from one floor below, there's some sound and yelling suggesting a reaction to the initial exchange of gunfire closer to the front door, and then a longer gap before everyone reacts to the sounds of more gunfire upstairs in the Hall of Honour. This may give an indication of the passage of time as the shooter moved down the hall.
- Globe and Mail reporter Josh Wingrove, who was in the hallway and shot the scene on his smart phone, appears several times, but most significantly at 2:02 and 10:44. He's wearing a blue wind breaker and can be seen walking down the middle of Hall of Honour after the shooter and later towards the House of Commons foyer, with guards shouting at him. Elsewhere, you can hear him on his phone, describing what happened.
- Time elapses between the security breach at the front door and the point where security personnel can be heard yelling "lock the doors" to prevent anyone from entering or leaving. At other times, confusion ensues as TV crews ask where they should go and it's unclear how the building should be evacuated.
- Stephen Harper tells MPs he's 'sorry' he left during attack
- The face-to-face encounter that ended the attack on Parliament Hill
- 15 minutes of terror in the Conservative caucus room
- Parliament Hill security confusion left MPs locked out
- Ottawa Police and Prime Minister Stephen Harper's RCMP protection detail arrive later. At one point, TV crews told to stay in the foyer of the House of Commons are yelled at suddenly and told to put their hands in the air.
- Crews that were being held in the Commons foyer are let into an area they can't normally go, closer to the actual House of Commons chamber. There they film officers with guns going up and down the rows of desks. In the lobby, we can see NDP MP Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe holding her two-month-old son, Evan. Just before the shooting, she'd left caucus to breastfeed in the normally quiet and private members lobby. Fellow MP Jonathan Genest-Jourdain is with her.
- Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, still holding his handgun, checks a room connected to the Conservative caucus room at 11:27. (Sources say he entered after the shooting and told MPs "I engaged the suspect and the suspect is deceased.")
- On the Levesque camera, the scene outside the front doors of Centre Block is unfolding just as the camera and reporter are let out an emergency exit. House of Commons Security Constable Samearn Son can be seen at 19:50, down on one knee after being shot and wounded when he tried to stop the gunman at the front door by grabbing his gun. A witness can be heard asking, "Are you okay?" He replies "I'll survive." You can see him walk with a limp — only later did we learn why.
From normal to terrifying in seconds
The morning had started like any other caucus day.
Conservatives and New Democrats met in large committee rooms across from each other in the central Hall of Honour. Liberals met in a smaller room on the first level.
- Jean Brousseau describes what it was like to film the shooting
- Gunman's movements caught on video, but security questions remain
- Where did Zehaf-Bibeau get his gun?
- Ottawa shooting: More coverage from CBC News
Reporters scrummed MPs and senators on their way in. Then the meetings began — normally a time for journalists to pause and regroup.
None of the cameras were rolling at the precise instant the gunman entered the building. All three operators hit the record button when they realized something unusual was happening. That's where this footage begins.
The only cut we've made is a five-minute section from dePaul's tape that showed MPs and journalists standing by an entrance on the west side of the building.