Greta Levy was lying on a polished hallway floor in the ornate Canadian Parliament building when she saw a man approaching with a gun. Moments later gunfire erupted.
By the time Levy, the press secretary for Canada's New Democratic Party, was on the floor, a soldier at the country war memorial had already been fatally wounded and the Parliament was going into lockdown with government officials barricading themselves and hiding in offices.
Levy was walking in the hallway of the main Parliament building when she and a colleague heard yelling and got on the ground. She hesitated only briefly before joining a colleague and a tourist on the floor.
"For whatever reason I then lifted my head and saw a man coming up the ramp that leads into Centre Block walking not fast, purposefully, and carrying a gun," Levy told ABC News. "And as soon as I saw the gun I looked back down, and a few seconds later, the shooting started."
The sprawling building remained on lockdown for hours and Members of Parliament used social media to get word of their safety to loved ones.
Michelle Rempel, a member of the Conservative Party representing parts of Calgary, sent a message to her mother and told a friend that she was unable to speak directly because she doesn't have her cell phone with her as she hides.
Mom im okay Im in hiding— Michelle Rempel (@MichelleRempel) October 22, 2014
is it clear people? shots were outside caucus room— Michelle Rempel (@MichelleRempel) October 22, 2014
A CTV reporter inside the building shared a photo of people inside the caucus room after the shooting, showing chairs blocked up against the interior of the doors as a makeshift barricade.
Another MP Mark Strahl called the ongoing situation "very tense."
Very tense situation in Ottawa this morning. Multiple gun shots fired outside of our caucus room. I am safe and in lockdown. Unbelievable.— Mark Strahl, MP (@markstrahl) October 22, 2014
Out of fears that the suspect is still on the loose, fellow Conservative MP Kyle Seeback kept details about his location vague.
Horrific day on parliament hill. Shots fired inside centre block during our caucus meeting. I'm safe locked in a office awaiting security.— Kyle Seeback (@KyleSeeback) October 22, 2014
One of his colleagues, Tony Clement, said they were hiding together in the building.
Shots fired during caucus meeting. at least 30 shots. MPs piled out. I'm safe with 2 colleagues but we're still at risk...— Tony Clement (@TonyclementCPC) October 22, 2014
I'm with colleages Mark Strahl and Kyle Seeback. PM was in Caucus but now secure. Assuming it's not safe to venture out yet...— Tony Clement (@TonyclementCPC) October 22, 2014
Still patiently awaiting rescue here in Centre Block. I feared this day would come, and my prayers are with the fallen soldier. Hug your fam— Tony Clement (@TonyclementCPC) October 22, 2014
Notified to remain in place inside Parliament. The area is still dangerous, and I put my faith in first responders and the Lord above...— Tony Clement (@TonyclementCPC) October 22, 2014