Three people were confirmed killed, including the gunman, after heavily armed Australian police stormed the Lindt Cafe in Sydney early Tuesday morning, ending a 17-hour siege.
The gunman who was responsible for holding more than a dozen people hostage in a the Martin Place cafe has been identified as 50-year-old Man Haron Monis, an Iranian refugee and self-proclaimed Muslim cleric who moved to Australia in 1996.
Loud bangs were heard coming from the Lindt Cafe, and several people were seen running to safety with their hands up in the air.
Police stormed the cafe immediately after and heavy gunfire followed at about 2 a.m. local time, according to a Reuters report.
New South Wales police confirmed that two men aged 50 and 34, and a woman aged 38 died. The gunman was among those killed.
Two female hostages and a male police officer sustained non-life threatening injuries. A fourth person is believed to have been injured, but that person’s condition remains unknown.
A woman was seen being carried outside the cafe by officers while two hostages were carried away on stretchers.
A bomb disposal robot and bomb squad members entered the cafe to look for explosives, but none were found.