Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the gunman identified by Canadian officials in this morning's Ottawa shooting, was a recent convert to Islam, according to multiple reports.
Zehaf-Bibeau, dressed in black, covered his face in a scarf as he shot and killed a guard at a war memorial before storming Parliament's halls and firing off a flurry of bullets, authorities and witnesses said. He was ultimately fatally shot by the ceremonial seargent-at-arms.
[sharequote="center"]"I looked out the window and saw a shooter, a man dressed all in black with a kerchief over his nose and mouth"[/sharequote]
"I looked out the window and saw a shooter, a man dressed all in black with a kerchief over his nose and mouth and something over his head as well, holding a rifle and shooting an honor guard in front of the cenotaph point-blank, twice," witness Tony Zobl told the Canadian Press news agency. "The honor guard dropped to the ground, and the shooter kind of raised his arms in triumph holding the rifle."
CBC Ottawa published a picture of Zehaf-Bibeau, saying sources confirmed it was the man responsible for the deadly shooting.
A Canadian member of Parliament had previously said that the shooter looked "Arabian" and had "long hair and a small beard."
According to CNN's sources, Zehaf-Bibeau was born in 1982 and had a history of drug use before his conversion to Islam.
Montreal reporter Domenic Fazioli tweeted that he had been arrested five times previously — on three occasions for drug possession and on two instances for not acting in accordance with his parole conditions.
During his time in Montreal, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau arrested 5 times. 3 times for drug possession; twice for not respecting parole conditions— Domenic Fazioli (@DomenicFazioli) October 22, 2014
Sources told the Globe and Mail that Zehaf-Bibeau had been designated as a "high risk traveller" by the Canadian government and reported that his passport had been seized.
Authorities would not discuss any possible motives for Zehaf-Bibeau's and police were still searching for any additional suspects. A lockdown for multiple buildings was still in effect Wednesday evening.
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