A civilian employee of the NSW police department was fatally shot Friday outside a police station in Parramatta in western Sydney. The gunman was subsequently shot and killed by police.
"An employee of the New South Wales police force has been callously murdered here today," NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said in a press conference. He added that after seeing video footage of the incident, "I can tell you that this was a brutal crime, it was a terrible crime."
Scipione said that a civilian employee of the department, whose name has not yet been released, was shot around 4:30pm outside the station on Charles Street. The gunman went up to the victim and fired off a single fatal round.
The unidentified shooter then turned the gun on a group of special constables who had come out of the station and opened fire.
"In the exchange that followed, the gunman was shot and killed," Scipione said.
The identity of the gunman is not yet known, nor is the motive for the attack. The commissioner said it has been declared a level one critical incident, the highest level an incident can be designated, and that an investigation is ongoing.
Witnesses reported seeing two bodies covered in white sheets lying on the footpath outside the Parramatta police station.
A local worker told the ABC: "I was working. I was on a phone call when the gunshot happened so it wasn't so loud, so I thought 'that's a broken tile or something' and then shortly we see police running through and that's the time we realised that this was something real."
Earlier this week Parramatta police were warned to be on the lookout for threats and were told to carry their guns with them at all times.
NSW police earlier announced that a police operation was underway on Charles Street in Parramatta and are advising people to avoid the area.
In a statement on Friday evening, NSW police said an officer had discharged his weapon responding to a report that a person had been shot.
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.