In Brighton, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, a hostage situation turned deadly after a man exchanged gunfire with police officers. During the exchange of gunfire, three police officers were shot and wounded. A gunman and one other person are dead. Amateur video recorded dramatic scenes when police were called to a home on Bay Street in Brighton at approximately 4 pm local time on June 5. Two police officers were transported for treatment at a local hospital. A third officer was treated at the scene. One of the two deceased persons was employed by the apartment complex where the hostage situation took place. He was apparently killed by the gunman.
 

While police are searching for clues to determine whether or not the incident was terror-related, a caller to local Channel 7 news told the station during the stand-off: “This is for IS [Islamic State]. This is for Al-Qaeda.” The gunman has yet to be identified. A receptionist at Channel 7 said the voice she heard “chilled her to the bone.”  The receptionist said the caller "seemed very firm and the woman in the background was clearly distressed." The call to Channel Seven is believed to have come from within the building from which a woman could be heard screaming in the background.
 
 A bomb squad and a terror investigation team were called to the Buckingham Serviced Apartments complex where the events unfolded. Some residents were evacuated from the premises, while others remained in place and thus trapped during the shooting.
 
Police were called to the scene after residents reported that they heard explosions and loud bangs. Police are investigating whether the incident is terror-related and counter-terror investigators were on the scene last night. Persons returning home after a day of work were told by police to return in the morning after police had finished their work overnight.
 
Paul Dowley of Channel Seven said police that the gunman’s mobile phone number is linked to terror groups. The receptionist said the caller "seemed very firm and the woman in the background was clearly distressed".
 
Police arrived at the apartment building and found a man's body in the foyer, while the suspect was holed up in an apartment with the female hostage.
 
Emergency services, including heavily armed police, were at the scene when dozens of shots were fired at approximately 6pm. Dozens of people fled on foot or took refuge at a neighborhood grocercy store. By about 6:20 pm, police removed a body on a stretcher from the apartment block.
 
Deputy Police Commissioner Andrew Crisp said police were investigating the relationship between the gunman and the female hostage, who is aged between 20 and 30.
 

 



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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