Two shootings, one at the Canadian National War Memorial and the other at the Centre Block Parliament Building, shook Ottawa and the public at large early last week.
Corporal Nathan Cirillo, a Canadian soldier, was gunned down in the National War Memorial by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian convert to Islam. At this time, Zehaf-Bibeau is believed to be linked with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).
Soon after he breached the Parliament Building’s long and narrow lobby, Zehaf-Bibeau was shot and killed. Responders to the shooting have yet to identify a purpose in Zehaf-Bibeau’s actions.
This comes after news of another ISIS-affiliated shooting in Quebec two days prior.
Though terrorist affiliation has yet to be confirmed, an ISIS media Twitter account recently tweeted a picture of a man holding a rifle, believed to be Zehaf-Bibeau.
Drew Best is a junior in psychology who says “Some people become fanatics and they push away from normal human values to do something that they feel is right.”
So what would prompt such an extreme act? “There has to be some conclusion in his head that this was the right thing to do,” Best says. “He seemed to be passionate about [ISIS] and was able to justify his actions.”
What would prompt Angela Guy-Lee is a sociology instructor at Ferris who discusses conflict theory and isolation in her classes.
“It’s a danger to every society when you have people that feel like they are outsiders,” Guy-Lee says. “If people feel outside of themselves and isolated, often they’ll do things that are horrible.”
Zehaf-Bibeau, it has been reported, was a drug addict and former criminal. His parents, including mother and Canadian immigration worker Susan Bibeau, had lost contact with him long before the shooting.
Canadian officials and the media have done little to sensationalize what has happened. Prime Minister “We are a proud democracy, a welcoming and peaceful nation, and a country of open arms and open hearts,” says Justin Trudeau, member of the Canadian House of Commons.