U.S. officials are in "close touch" with their Canadian counterparts in the wake of shootings in downtown Ottawa, The Washington Post reported referring to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
Dozens of gunshots were heard inside Canada's Parliament on Wednesday morning shortly after a soldier was reported shot at the nearby National War Memorial, according to police and witnesses on the scene. Parliament was locked down, and people in downtown Ottawa were told to shelter in place.
Earnest said Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke Wednesday, and that the president had been briefed on the shooting.
The press secretary said that "details about the nature of this event are still sketchy," and he is "not in a position" to say whether the attack was an act of terrorism as Canadian authorities are still responding to the event. He said the White House extends its thoughts and prayers to those affected by the shooting and their families, as well as the families of a Canadian soldier who was killed earlier this week.