Sydney (dpa) – A lone gunman shot and killed a civilian police employee outside the police headquarters in Sydney, Australia before being shot down himself, police said Friday.
Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione told reporters at the crime scene that the gunman walked up to a civilian IT employee leaving the building at 4.30 pm (0630 GMT) and “deliberately targeted” the man, shooting him dead.
The gunman then fired at a special constable guarding the building who fired back. The gunman, dressed in dark baggy pants and long top, then exchanged fire with two other police officers before he was shot dead.
Scipione said it was a “brutal crime” and that the gunman clearly intended to engage police in a shoot out, adding that the case may have been one of “suicide by cop.”
He said more will be known when police manage to identify the gunman. The victim’s name will not be released until relatives have been notified.
“There is nothing to link this to a terror attack at this stage, but we can’t rule anything out,” Scipione said.
He said people could feel safe as the incident had ended with the death of the gunman.
Scipione said it was not known yet whether the victim was known to the gunman, but he appeared to have targeted the police employee.
Police have been on high alert for some months after terror plots targeting police had been uncovered.
In London a 15-year-old boy was sentenced to life with a minimum non-parole period of five years on Friday for plotting with Australian youths to behead police officers. Two Australian youths are facing terrorism charges over the plot.
Scipione said police were already on high alert for football finals being held this weekend in both Sydney and Melbourne, but all officers and security officials are being informed to take extra care.