Police have confirmed that they are treating yesterday’s deadly siege in Melbourne’s southeast as an act of terror.
Speaking to Channel 7 on Tuesday, Commissioner Graham Ashton of Victoria Police said the gunman had a long criminal history and was out on parole at the time of the attack.
“He’s got a long criminal history in relation to a whole range of criminal offences and certainly recently did some jail time,” Commissioner Ashton confirmed.
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“He got out of jail late last year and was on parole. He was certainly known to us for a long period of time”.
It’s also been revealed that the gunman had previously faced court over a plot to attack Sydney’s Holsworthy army barracks in 2009, the Herald Sun reports.
Commissioner Ashton did however note that the suspect was not currently on their radar.
“We had no intelligence that he was planning on doing this or that he was a risk,” Detective Ashton said.
“We’re not quite sure whether Monday’s incident was planned or spontaneous”.
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It’s understood that the woman that the gunman took hostage at an apartment building in Brighton was an escort who he had booked through an agency.
“He’s met the woman at the apartment for escort services in the afternoon, so we’re still piecing together exactly what’s made him do this last night,” Commissioner Ashton said.
Just after 4.00pm, police were called to reports of explosions and loud bangs at a serviced apartment building on Bay Street.
When they arrived, they found the body of a man who had been shot in the foyer of the building and a the gunman holed up in an apartment holding a woman hostage.
After about two hours, the suspect was gunned down by officers after he allegedly started shooting at police.
“Police members returned fire and as a result of that fire, the man who exited the serviced apartment was fatally shot,” Deputy Police Commissioner Andrew Crisp said.
Three officers were wounded, with two rushed to hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The third officer was treated at the scene.
The female hostage, believed to be aged in her late 20s, was rescued by police.
Islamic State has since claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that the gunman was “one of its soldiers”.
Investigations remain ongoing.