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Canada Ottawa shooter toured Parliament before attack, official says

The Hall of Honour, where Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was fatally shot after his attack on Parliament Hill, is shown in Centre Block.

DAVE CHAN/The Globe and Mail

The gunman said to have killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo before storming Parliament took a tour of the building 18 days before his attack, a federal official says.

Video footage gathered as part of an ongoing review of the attack shows Michael Zehaf-Bibeau in Centre Block on Oct. 4, said Heather Bradley, a spokeswoman for House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer.

"This footage is part of a comprehensive security review underway," Ms. Bradley said in a statement.

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News of the Oct. 4 footage was first reported by the Ottawa Citizen. On Oct. 22, Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau fatally shot Cpl. Cirillo at the nearby National War Memorial before hijacking a car, driving up to Parliament's Centre Block building and storming inside, police have said. He was shot and killed in a confrontation with guards.

Guided tours are offered of Centre Block, with visitors entering through security screening – akin to that at an airport – one floor below the rotunda where Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau ultimately came into the building during his attack on Oct. 22. The doors where he entered that day are guarded by officers but don't have security screening such as a metal detector.

Ms. Bradley's statement did not specify the circumstances in which cameras captured Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau on Oct. 4, though one source said he was seen on a tour of the building. Tour groups are often seen in the rotunda and the Hall of Honour leading towards the Library of Parliament, where he was killed on Oct. 22.

The Oct. 4 footage has not been made public, nor has security footage from the day of the attack. When – or if – that footage will be released to the public remains unclear, although the RCMP have publicly played security footage from outside the building, showing Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau's car hijacking.

"Decisions as to what [video] will be released will be made when the reports are finalized based on the recommendation of our security officials," Ms. Bradley said in a statement.

The review is ongoing.

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