It is believed that the gunman who killed an apartment clerk and took a female escort hostage was on parole, despite a long and violent criminal history.
It is possible that Somali born Yacqub Khayre (29) wanted to lure police to the location for a deadly shootout.
Police were first alerted to trouble, after numerous calls to 000 from residents, who thought they were hearing the sound of explosions at the serviced apartments in Bay Street.
The police were very quick to respond and that was when they were confronted with the grim discovery of a the lifeless body of the apartment receptionist. He was found lying dead in the foyer of the apartment.
Shortly after police arrived, 000 got another call, this time from a man who was barricaded inside the apartment block claiming to be holding a female hostage. That hostage was a female escort.
It is now known that Yacqub rang an escort agency, asked to have an escort meet him at the apartment block. When Yacqub arrived he shot dead the Chinese born apartment clerk, and then proceeded to the room where the escort was and held her against her will. She was not tied up, but was told to remain seated in a particular spot of the room. It appears the clerk was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The special operations group and critical incident response team evacuated all nearby residents and began swarming the apartment. However some time around 6.00pm yesterday, the gunman bursted out of the apartment with a shotgun and began unloading rounds of ammunition at the police. Three police were hurt in the gunfire and the gunman was shot dead.
Two officers, one with wounds to his face and neck were immediately taken to hospital whilst the third was treated at the scene.
The female escort was rescued from the ground floor apartment, clearly shaken and traumatised from her ordeal.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack online, however police how downplayed their statement.
Victoria Police are treating the incident as an act of terrorism.
Police are searching the gunman’s mothers home in Roxburgh Park where he was living, to see if he had any links to overseas organisations.
In 2009, Yacqub spent 16 months on remand before being acquitted of a plot to attack the Holsworthy army barracks in Sydney.
He was later jailed in 2012 over a violent home invasion and had only been released for a period of 6 months, before this incident unfolded.
The question now for the Victorian Premier is, how can a man with a long history of violence, be out on parole?
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said there were “very grave questions” about how Yacqub was allowed back onto the streets, and interacting with the general public when he clearly was known to have connections with violent extremism.
Police believe at this stage, the gunman was working alone.