The mother of the man accused of killing a soldier at Ottawa’s National War Memorial then storming the Canadian parliament before being shot dead says she is crying for the victims of the shooting, not her son.
Susan Bibeau said she did not know what to say to those hurt in the attack.
“Can you ever explain something like this?” she said. “We are sorry.”
Investigators offered little information about the gunman in Ottawa, identified as 32-year-old petty criminal Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.
Canadian police conceded today that Zehaf-Bibeau was the lone gunman, the second attack in three days in what the prime minister described as terrorism.
The heart of the capital city of Ottawa had been in lockdown after yesterday’s attack, with fears that other gunmen might be on the loose.
Ottawa police constable Marc Soucy confirmed today that police are satisfied there was one attacker.
Police chief Charles Bordeleau said that “there is no longer a threat to public safety”.
The two attacks stunned Canadians and raised concerns their country was being targeted for reprisals for joining the US-led air campaign against the extremist Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria.
Today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the National War Memorial where the soldier was killed to lay a wreath.
Earlier, Mr Harper called the shooting the country’s second terrorist attack in three days. A man the prime minister described as an “Isil-inspired terrorist” on Monday ran over two soldiers in a parking lot in Quebec, killing one and injuring another before being shot to death by police. Like the suspect from the shooting in Ottawa, he was a recent convert to Islam.
Witnesses said the soldier posted at the National War Memorial, identified as Corporal Nathan Cirillo, was gunned down at point-blank range by a man carrying a rifle and dressed all in black, his face half-covered with a scarf.
The gunman appeared to raise his arms in triumph, then entered parliament, a few hundred yards away, where dozens of shots soon rang out, according to witnesses.
People fled the complex by scrambling down scaffolding erected for renovations, while others took cover inside as police with rifles and body armour took up positions outside and cordoned off the normally bustling streets around parliament.
On Twitter, Canada’s justice minister and other government officials credited 58-year-old sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers with shooting the attacker just outside the MPs’ caucus rooms. Vickers serves a largely ceremonial role at the House of Commons, carrying a sceptre and wearing rich green robes, white gloves and a tall imperial hat.
At least three people were treated for minor injuries.
In Washington, US president Barack Obama condemned the shootings as “outrageous” and said: “We have to remain vigilant.” The US Embassy in Ottawa was locked down as a precaution, and security was tightened at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery just outside Washington.
Mr Harper vowed that the attacks will “lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts” to keep the country safe and work with Canada’s allies to fight terrorists.
Court records that appear to be the gunman’s show that he had a long rap sheet, with a string of convictions for assault, robbery, drug and weapons offences, and other crimes.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation had video of the gunman going to his car alone with his weapon after the shooting at the memorial.
The car was later spotted parked in front of Parliament Hill, just down the block.