The Globe and Mail’s dramatic video of a police gunfight with an armed shooter, shot by politics reporter Josh Wingrove, has been seen around the world.

Crazy man @josh_wingrove shooting his famous video yesterday (via Jean Brousseau) pic.twitter.com/czPxssfsjM

— Stephen Taylor (@stephen_taylor) October 23, 2014

By Tamara Baluja, Associate Editor

It’s not like Josh Wingrove hadn’t been in dangerous situations before. The Globe and Mail’s parliamentary correspondent took safety training in 2009 before he went to Afghanistan and was embedded with the Canadian military. But he never thought he’d wind up in a gunfight in Ottawa, on Parliament Hill, from where he regularly reports. The dramatic video he captured on his BlackBerry has now been seen around the world.

A day later, Wingrove is humble about his actions—saying he “just stumbled” into the situation and was there at the right time to shoot the video.

On Wednesday morning, he was in an alcove, typing up a story after an interview with Justice Minister Peter MacKay and listening to his recording with earphones plugged in when he heard a loud thud.

“I thought a bookshelf had fallen, you know? Because the sound was muffled,” he said. “But then I saw the smoke and smelled it. But even then, it was like, no, this is Ottawa. It can’t be happening. And then I saw people running and screaming, guns drawn, and I knew it was very real.”

Wingrove said he doesn’t remember what was going through his mind at the time and what made him rush toward the action instead of away from it and taking cover.

“I honestly don’t remember much…. I know I stayed closed to the walls and pillars to take cover, common sense really, but I started taking several videos of the cops searching the hallway and following them. I just kept rolling,” he said.

And that’s when the second volley of shots broke out in front of the Library of Parliament, which he captured on video.

“It was so loud, so many shots fired into a body, and then I saw the police surge forward and check his pulse or something,” Wingrove said. “And then they turned around back towards me to get everybody to clear out.”

Wingrove said he was then pushed back by a police offer and moved into the foyer where media scrums take place just outside the House of Commons. Within 10 to 15 minutes of shooting that video, Wingrove was uploading the raw footage to The Globe and Mail’s newsroom.

“I still hadn’t really seen the footage. I mean, I knew what I had seen but I didn’t know how much of it I got on camera,” he said.

It was only after the footage was uploaded by the Globe and then picked up by news outlets worldwide that he started getting an inkling of how powerful it was. His phone started ringing with interview requests as he raced to file copy for the Globe’s website and tweet updates.

As a reporter, he said being in a lockdown was frustrating because he didn’t know there had been an attack at the War Memorial, a few blocks away, just minutes earlier. But he was able to check Twitter intermittently and was then moved into a room with a TV along with the others in the lockdown.

“There were some 150 people or so, maybe a dozen MPs and another dozen journalists, and a lot of tourists,” Wingrove said. “But at no point were we patted down or searched…. There was a lot of unease in the room because we didn’t know who was gathered in it. It didn’t seem like the police had a real plan.”

So after 12 hours in lockdown where no cop talked to us I am now being treated as a witness and told to wait longer.

— Josh Wingrove (@josh_wingrove) October 23, 2014

Wingrove and 12 to 15 other reporters spent roughly 12 hours on Parliament Hill in lockdown.

“I’m exhausted, I’m sad. I feel weird…. I don’t really know how I feel yet,” he added. “I’m thinking a lot today about the soldier who was killed and how it correlates with what we went through.”

The Canadian Journalism Foundation mentioned Wingrove’s footage in particular while commending the careful, factual reporting of many Canadian journalists reporting on the incident.

“The Canadian Journalism Foundation wants to recognize the courage and commitment of those journalists whose vivid first-hand reporting told the nation yesterday’s tragic story,” said John Cruickshank, chair of the CJF and publisher of the Toronto Star, in a press release.

Wingrove is back at work today and said he’s uncomfortable with the attention he’s getting.

“I went to work like any other day and just stumbled into that situation…. I was just doing my job,” he said. “And I’m OK now, but my mother is really mad at me.”

“What the hell were you doing there with your camera?” -my mother, relieved but a tad angry.

— Josh Wingrove (@josh_wingrove) October 23, 2014