This brings to an end our live coverage of the dramatic events in the Canadian capital Ottawa. Thanks for staying with us! You can still follow all the latest developments on this and other news stories on the BBC News website.
But the police add that the "operation continues on Parliament Hill and as such the Hill continues to be off limits to the public".
Canadian police say the downtown Ottawa "safety perimeter" has now been lifted. They say "there no longer exists a threat to public safety in the area".
Emma Loop, @OttawaCitizen
tweets: Thousands of public servants caught up in security lockdown http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/thousands-of-public-servants-caught-up-in-security-lockdown/ … #OttawaShooting #cdnpoli
The prime minister also says that the nation's "thoughts and prayers" are with Cpl Nathan Cirillo, who was shot and killed in Wednesday's attack.
But he stresses that "Canada will never be intimidated" and those responsible "will have no safe haven" on Canadian soil.
Mr Harper says the shootings on Wednesday and earlier this week in Quebec showed that "Canada is not immune to terrorist attacks".
Canadian PM Harper is now making a statement. He describes Wednesday's attack as "brutal and violent".
John Baird, Canada's Foreign Minister, tweets: Just spoke to @JohnKerry. My message: "This is why we're with you. This only makes our resolve stronger."
Australia's ABC News 24
tweets: PM @TonyAbbottMHR says security has been increased in Canberra but no threat received #OttawaShooting #auspol pic.twitter.com/usnbGWp8db
Here's a brief timeline of Wednesday's dramatic events in the Canadian capital.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is due to make a statement shortly, reports say.
Pierre Chauvin, Ottawa tweets: TV Reporters are filing, everybody else is waiting around, not sure what to do #OttawaShooting
The Ottawa Hospital now says that "all three patients involved in today's incident have been discharged". It earlier said the patients "had minor, non-life threatening injuries".
Eyewitness Ameh Adas, an Ottawa student who filmed the aftermath of the shooting, tells the BBC that the area is normally "very busy at this time." He says that "government workers usually go for lunch, and the university is only two minutes away".
Isabel Shore, Ottawa emails: I'm a first year student at the University of Ottawa. The University was placed in lockdown for about five hours. We're located a few blocks away, and it was a very stressful and confusing experience. Ottawa is my hometown, and yesterday I would never imagine that such a thing could happen here. However, the twitter updates provided by the CBC (and the BBC) were incredibly helpful, seeing as I was stuck in an auditorium with no way of reaching the outside!
Ottawa Hospital has said that it received four patients from the shootings. It said they arrived at the hospital at 10:20, 10:37, 12:05, and 12:43 local time. It said that, apart from the first patient, they had minor, non-life threatening injuries and remain in hospital.
US officials say that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was a 32-year-old Canadian citizen.
Canadian media quoting US and Canadian officials have identified the dead Ottawa gunman as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau.
Canadian broadcaster CBC has a profile of Nathan Cirillo, the reservist soldier who was fatally shot at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.
Russ Siemens in Ottawa, Ontario
tweets: First flag I have seen at half mast #Ottawa pic.twitter.com/KwggvJ7CF8
Canadian media have named the soldier fatally shot at the war memorial as Cpl Nathan Cirillo. Canada's Globe and Mail spoke to a member of his family.
Just to recap on what we know: Shots were fired at two locations, the National War Memorial where a soldier was fatally injured, and in parliament where an attacker was killed in a gunfight. Police said reports of gunshots at a shopping centre proved to be false but parts of the city centre are still in lockdown and it is unclear if other suspects are at large.
- Copyright: Kashy_B
This picture of armed police on a rooftop in central Ottawa was taken by Kashy_B who tells the BBC: "We're locked in and no-one can get in or out."
tweets: The Canadian National Anthem will play ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins game tonight as a show of support for the tragic events today.
tweets: Sgt at arms Kevin Vickers - nicest guy you'll ever meet. I am lucky to call him a friend. Today he is also our hero and we are 4evr grateful
Kevin Vickers, Sergeant-at-Arms in Canada's House of Commons, is being hailed as a hero after reportedly shooting the assailant in parliament. Justice Minister Peter MacKay tweeted: "Thank God for Sgt at Arms Kevin Vickers".
RCMP in Ottawa, Canada
tweets: Anyone who has pics or videos of the sequence of events, surrounding today's shootings send to police at this link http://rcmp.ca/-hSn
tweets: Condolences to the family of the fallen officer in #Ottawa. He was a hero who bravely stood in defence of our country and our freedoms
- Copyright: Robert Benzie (Twitter)
tweets: A standing ovation for Ontario's Sergeant-at-Arms Dennis Clark, who keeps this chamber safe. #onpoli
tweets: In centreblock. I can hear shouting "Police! Hands up!" In outside hallway #OttawaShooting
The White House says President Obama has spoken by phone to Prime Minister Harper "to express the American people's solidarity with Canada". It says President Obama condemned "these outrageous attacks" and offered any assistance Canada needed in responding to them.
tweet: #OttawaShooting situation is fluid and ongoing. Remain vigilant and aware.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, making his first statement after the shooting, has described it as "a despicable attack". He says it is important for the government and parliament to continue to function.
The police press conference gave us very few new details. Still not clear if only one gunman involved.
Canadian police say the attack "caught us by surprise". A spokesman said: "If we had known that this was coming we would have been able to disrupt it."
Police are refusing to say whether there was more than one gunman involved in Wednesday's shootings.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says it is a "sad and tragic day for this city and the country".
An Ottawa police chief describes the situation as "dynamic and unfolding" and says "we are committed to providing answers as soon as possible".
Ottawa police looking for witnesses to come forward, press conference told.
Canadian police have said at a press conference that the situation is "fluid and ongoing".
Police say there is an "ongoing joint police operation and there is no one in custody at this time". It adds that Ottawa residents are "asked to stay away from the downtown area while the investigation continues."
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has tweeted about today's events in Ottawa, saying: I'm appalled by today's attack in Ottawa. I offer my full support to @pmharper and the Canadian people as they deal with this incident.
In a statement, the RCMP says reports of an incident at the Rideau Centre were incorrect, but confirms the two other shooting incidents at the National War Memorial and in the parliament building.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have confirmed that the soldier shot at the National War Memorial has died. One of the suspects has also been confirmed dead.
We are expecting police to hold a news conference in the next few minutes.
Mark Day, 1310News, Ottawa tweets: #Toronto police Chief Bill Blair will speak @ 2:15pm on precautions being taken by Toronto police after shootings in #Ottawa
Police have set up checkpoints on several roads out of Ottawa. There were earlier reports that a gunman may have fled the scene on a motorbike but we've had no confirmation of that. Amer Adas, an Ottawa resident, captured his journey through one such checkpoint in a short video.
Jessie Inman, CEO Confederation Centre of the Arts tweets: In Ottawa @ Westin Hotel watching events unfold #OttawaShooting So sad solider guarding our war memorial died @CBCPEI @PEIGuardian @CBCNews
Robert Gagnon emails: Still in lock down in government defence building two blocks east of Rideau Centre shooting location. No news in the last two hours. Eerily quiet. Not allowed in or out. Streets are empty.
tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay Terrible tragedy in progress in #Ottawa #Canada. Much respect to the people involved. Stay safe
According to a cabinet minister, the shooting in the parliament building happened while Prime Minister Harper was addressing the cabinet. The unnamed minister told Reuters news agency the gunshots were "right outside out caucus door".
Officials confirmed Mr Harper made it safely out of the building shortly after the incident.
The parliament building remains under lockdown at the moment, with a number of government employees and journalists still inside. Police have told those inside to keep doors locked and stay away from the windows.
Local media say members of the Canadian Armed Forces have been told to stay out of uniforms in public unless they are on active duty.
Kirsty Fyfe in Ottawa emails: I am currently in the HI Ottawa Jail Hostel on Nicholas St. We are right across from the Rideau Centre which has been closed off. All hostellers currently in the building have been brought down to the bar to stay together. Looking out the windows, the streets are really quiet. Scary times in Canada's capital.
Prime Minister Harper's press secretary has released a photograph of Canada's leader being briefed by police commissioner Bob Paulson.Copyright: Carl Vallée
To recap, police have confirmed three shootings in Ottawa today. The incidents were at the National War Memorial, the parliament building and the Rideau Centre. The three sites are in close proximity in downtown Ottawa.Copyright: BBC
tweets: #Canada has some immensely brave soldiers. My heart goes out to all involved. #Ottowa #Parliament #StaySafeOttawa
The Mayor of Calgary, Naheed Henshi tweets: My thoughts and prayers, and those of all Canadians, with everyone in Ottawa and the brave women and men of our armed forces today.
A spokesman for the Ottawa hospital has confirmed that it has received three patients related to today's shootings. It says two of them are in stable condition, but makes no mention of the soldier who was shot and is thought to have died.
Elizabeth Sanford in Ottawa emails: The huge government complex directly across the river from Parliament, Place du Portage, has been in complete lock down for a while too. Around 10:25 am EDT, about 5 or 6 black SUVs flew by Place du Portage coming across the bridge from the Ottawa side. I would guess that was Stephen Harper.
tweets: Surreal scene outside of our hotel right now. Lot of very brave police officers we should all be very proud of.
Canadian MPs say the government has confirmed the death of the soldier who was shot at the war memorial.Copyright: BBCCopyright: BBC
Mark Brooks in Ottawa emails: I work for the Canadian Dept of Finance and our building is located one block from where the shooting took place. We are in lockdown and no-one is allowed to leave. Bridges to Quebec are also closed and the streets outside are eerily quiet with only police patrolling with guns drawn. Apparently there is still one gunman on the loose. Most unusual for what is ordinarily a sleepy government town. Is it just a one-off or should we expect more of this in the future now that Canada (with its allies) has committed to engage in the fight against ISIS?
Today's events in Ottawa come after the Canadian government raised the country's terror threat level from low to medium, saying it was in response to "general chatter" online from extremist groups. The move came after a Canadian soldier was killed earlier this week after being hit by a car driven by a Muslim convert, who was shot and killed by police shortly afterwards.
tweets: Two injured patients arriving at ottawa hospital emerg. One with gunshot wounds both stable. Armed police outside entrance
A spokesman for Ottawa's police force has confirmed to CBC that they are looking for multiple suspects. He said no-one was under arrest at the moment, adding that he was unable to confirm whether or not one or more gunmen had been shot.
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says there have so far been no claims of responsibility on jihadist websites for today's shooting attack in Ottawa.
Just to be clear, all three sites involved - the National War Memorial, parliament and the shopping mall - are within less than a mile from each other.
Witness Alain Merizier, a waiter in the parliament building, told the BBC a car stopped close to the building and a man got out of the driver's seat holding a long gun. "So he held the long gun, he ran away... he went inside to the parliament and then I heard one shot and that's when I saw the RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] officer running after him."
Witnesses are saying they saw people fleeing parliament by scrambling down scaffolding that had been put up for renovations.
tweets: MPs and Hill staff owe their safety, even lives, to Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers who shot attacker just outside the MPs' caucus rooms.
We are still waiting for news on the condition of the soldier shot at the war memorial in Ottawa. Alex Boutilier, a reporter for the Toronto Star, said a worker at the city's main hospital told him the soldier was still receiving treatment.
Reporter for the Globe and Mail
tweets: We are hearing banging in the Parliament building but security very calm. Sounds like maybe battering rams being used to open doors.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is understood to have cancelled his public events for the day, including a meeting with Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who is in Toronto to receive honorary Canadian citizenship. Mr Harper is due to make a statement later today.
Darrell Keezer took this picture:Copyright: Darrell Keezer
Nichola Loudiadis: Hello, I'm a student who goes to a high school in Ottawa. Currently every building (stores, hotels, schools) in the downtown Ottawa area have been put into a pseudo lockdown. At our own school we have been put into 'secure school' which states that no-one is to leave the building until further notice.
Police appear to be trying to secure the area around the Rideau Centre after reports of gunshots there earlier. Vassy Kapelos, a journalist with Canada's Global National radio station, tweets: Total pandemonium near rideau centre. Police screaming for everyone to leave - we are.
@brenthazelton tweets: Just witnessed them load the shooter in an ambulance with a white sheet pulled over him. #shooter #cdnpoli
Heavily armed officers are still conducting building to building searches in the area around parliament. A number of parliament employees and journalists remain in lockdown inside the building following the exchange of fire earlier.Copyright: Reuters
tweets: Downtown mall in Ottawa, the Rideau Centre, a few blocks east of Parliament Hill, is now in lockdown. #bn
Journalist at Newstalk1010
tweets: Ottawa Police now confirming a 3rd shooting. This one at the Rideau Centre Mall. No word on injuries at that one. The Rideau shopping centre is close to the other two confirmed shooting incidents, at the parliament building and the war memorial.
Ian Chandler: I'm in lockdown at my school & lunch has been cancelled. My dad is downtown in the building across the street from the shooting at the war memorial.
Lauren Dobson-Hughes, who is in the area, tweets: Police have confirmed they're looking for 'multiple shooters'. Unclear if this is two, including the dead one, or three
@Adamyk tweets: The fact that there's no new updates on suspect number #2 leads me believe I'll be locked in here for a long time. #OttawaShooting
tweets: Reports coming in there could be as many as FIVE active shooters involved.
To recap, at the moment we understand that a gunman has been shot dead inside the parliament building in Ottawa. This followed a soldier being shot near the war memorial close to parliament. The soldier was pictured being treated at the scene, but it's unclear what his condition is. There are also reports that there could be more gunmen still in the area. Police are understood to be expanding the area under lockdown in the city.
@allen_26er tweets: My office is on lockdown. One shooter is still on the loose downtown.
Local media are now reporting that one gunman was killed after being shot in the parliament building.
@brenthazelton tweets: Apparently the second shooter is down. #parliamenthill #shooter #cdnpoli
@BariLeia a student at Ottawa university tweets: I'm scared. Can hear sirens everywhere.
David Palmer: All government buildings in the capital are under lockdown.
@crimegarden tweets: Police have been ordered to track two more possible suspects, one fleeing on foot near Chateau, the other on motorbike. Ottawa
Marianne Lampon: I'm a University of Ottawa student and the university has been in contact with every student very efficiently notifying us about the shooting and we have since received messages informing us the campus is on lockdown. I am at home at the moment but I have friends on campus who are saying that lights have been turned off and no-one is allowed in or out of buildings, blinds have been drawn and any possible doors locked.
tweets: Someone skimmed by bullet on Queen Street, downtown. Could have been from original shooting near War Memorial.
There are reports now that police may be involved in a high-speed chase with one of the suspected gunmen, although this is unconfirmed.
tweets: Global News cameraman reporting shots fired by Chateau Laurier hotel #ottawa
tweets: On my way to my car and was asked by the police to take shelter. #ottawa
One witness has spoken to AFP news agency describing what appears to be the moment captured in the Globe and Mail video. Marc-Andre Viau, who works at the parliament, said he saw a man run into a caucus meeting in the building, chased by police who yelled "take cover". That was followed by "10, 15, maybe 20 shots," possibly from an automatic weapon, he said.
tweets: One shooter shot dead inside centre block #ottawa HofC suspect others still on the loose more shots fired #cbc
The Globe and Mail have published video of the moment one of the gunmen entered the parliament building, showing an exchange of fire. Police patrolling the building appear to come across a gunman and several bursts of gunfire can be heard after one loud shot.
tweets: Guy was 5ft 9-10ins, overweight, black jacket and a long rifle. He had a scarf covering his face and headed toward the common lawn #cdnpoli
Canada's CBC news network is reporting that there could be two to three gunmen in the area. They've been told that parliament's sergeant at arms shot one of the shooters dead but that is unconfirmed.
Reporter for the Globe and Mail
tweets: We are still in lockdown here in Parliament's Centre Block. The building appears to still be under a search, officers with guns drawn
tweets:Copyright: Gerry Byrne
There are reports that a gunman may have been shot by police inside the parliament building but as yet we have no confirmation of this. At the moment, police appear to be going from building to building in the area.
Columnist at the National Post
Canadian police are warning residents of Ottawa to stay away from windows and roofs after the shooting
@Gerry_Byrne tweets: Can't do any interviews. We are in lock down. Staying silent until lock down ended. Security forces aware of where I am.
tweets:Copyright: Gerry Byrne
Reporter for the Globe and Mail
tweets: MP Maurice Vellacott was giving a tour for students on Parliament Hill. Heard explosion. He's out. Some of group still on lockdown inside.
At the moment it remains unclear as to whether there is one gunman involved or two.
Witnesses said they saw a man armed with a rifle running to the parliament building after the shooting but some local media are reporting that there may have been a second gunman as well.
@BariLeia, a student who works as a political staffer, tweets:Copyright: @BariLeia
Gunshots can still be heard in the area according to reporters in Ottawa. Lauren Dobson-Hughes, who is in the area, tweets: Multiple shots fired again, seemingly from Chateau Laurier, next to Parliament and in front of the War Memorial.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police tweets: #RCMP advises if you are in downtown Ottawa to stay away from windows and off roofs due to ongoing police incident.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is understood to have left the building safely as police converged on the area.
The gunman was said to have been seen running towards parliament nearby and the building has been placed on lockdown.
To recap, several shots have been fired at the war memorial in Ottawa and a soldier is reported to have been wounded.
Welcome to our live coverage of the shooting near parliament in Ottawa. We'll bring you the latest as it happens.