Teen gunman's attack on Sydney police 'an act of terrorism'

2015-10-03 15:01
Members of the police secure the area after a shooting leaves two dead in Parramatta, a suburb in the metropolitan area of Sydney. (Lucy Hughes Jones, DPA)

Members of the police secure the area after a shooting leaves two dead in Parramatta, a suburb in the metropolitan area of Sydney. (Lucy Hughes Jones, DPA)

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Sydney - The teenaged gunman who opened fire on Sydney police officers, killing one, was committing an act of terrorism, the city's police chief said on Saturday.

Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the 15-year-old boy was born in Iran with an Iraqi-Kurdish background and had immigrated to Australia with his family.

Scipione said the attack was "politically motivated" and an "act of terrorism," but the boy apparently acted alone.

Curtis Cheng, an employee in the finance section of the police department, was shot dead by the boy, who also died after a shootout with officers on Friday afternoon.

Scipione said the city's Islamic leaders were assisting police in their inquiries.

Local media reported that the teen had visited a nearby mosque before making the attack at police headquarters.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper said the teenager was a naturalised Australian who had arrived as a refugee. The paper cited witnesses saying the attacker shot Cheng in front of the police headquarters, then waved his handgun in the air and shouted "Allah, Allah."

The gunman "deliberately targeted" Cheng as he was leaving work, Scipione said.

Security footage

It was not known whether the gunman knew the victim or had targeted him after seeing him leave the building. Police said security cameras showed the teen walking up to Cheng and firing a single bullet to the back of his head.

The gunman then stayed in the area for 15 seconds shouting before exchanging shots with three officers before he fell to the ground dead.

New South Wales state Premier Mike Baird said the attack by the boy would reverberate around the world.

"It is absolutely shocking that someone so young could commit such a chilling act," he said.

"I appeal to the people of Sydney to stay together and not let hate overcome us."

Police were on high alert for the weekend football finals which have attracted tens of thousands of people into the city.

Read more on:    australia

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