A a civilian police employee has been shot to death and his killer also shot dead as officers returned fire outside the force’s headquarters in Sydney’s west on Friday 2nd October, according to NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione.
Scipione has confirmed that the gunman that shot the police employee was Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammad, a 15-year-old boy of Iraqi and Kurdish descent. The police finance department worker identified as 58-year-old Curtis Cheng was gunned down in what police have labelled a politically motivated attack and considered to be linked to terrorism.
NSW Police has also said that Mohammad has no criminal history and is believed to have acted alone.
The moment after Police shoot dead Farhad Jabar Khalil Mohammad outside the NSW Police Headquarters in Charles St, Parramatta. Source: Channel 9 News
Surveillance footage shows Mohammad, dressed in black, briefly entering the lobby of the Police Headquarters before following Cheng out of the building and shooting him dead.
Upon hearing the shots, Special Constable Police officers guarding the building rushed out, shouting at the gunman to drop his weapon before ducking for cover as they were also fired upon. In an great act of bravery, as described by Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, the Special Constables exposed themselves to return fire and shoot dead Mohammad, who shouted Allah Akbar (“God is great”) and continued to wave his weapon in the air.
Two bodies in close proximity from each other, covered by sheets, could be seen outside the Parramatta police headquarters. Source: ABC
Investigation of the Shooting
As a result of this incident, NSW Police have launched Strike Force Fellows as part of a comprehensive investigation into the matter. The 15-year-old boy’s motives for the attack remain largely unclear and the police have not provided details into any leads at this stage.
More details about the victim of the attack have been released, with NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione praising the work ethic of Cheng, a 17-year veteran of the Police Force Finance Department. Cheng is survived by his wife and two children.
Cheng (left), pictured with his family, died on Friday afternoon.
Cheng was leaving work yesterday afternoon around 4:30 pm from the Parramatta Police Headquarters when he was shot from behind at close range by Mohammad.
Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione says that the force has “lost of its own.” The NSW Premier Mike Baird also appeared alongside Andrew Scipione, giving a strongly worded speech calling for unity in the city.
Baird said that on such an important [sporting] weekend, we cannot let this mark the occasion. He added calls for all Sydney-siders to band together, to unite as one and “not let have overtake us.”
Scipione (right) wipes his eye as Baird front the media. Source: AAP
Officers searching the crime scene after the shooting on Charles Street, Parramatta. Source: Jonathan Ng
It is also believed that the radicalised gunman, whose family lives in North Parramatta, visited Parramatta Mosque, where overseas terror group Hizbut Tahrir was giving a speech shortly before the shooting.
The Police Commissioner has also acknowledged that the Islamic community has offered their support to the Police in their investigation into the incident.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that only a “very small percentage” of individuals are violent extremists. In a press conference, the Prime Minister called the incident “cold blooded murder” and also noted that the identification of young people at risk of radicalisation is an important priority for the Australian community.
Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten also expressed his bi-partisan support for the government’s counter terrorism measures and commented that this has been a tragedy for both the Cheng family and the family of Mohammad.
Where the shooting took place in Parramatta. Source:The Daily Telegraph
Security at this weekend’s sporting grand finals was expected to be increased with additional police on duty following the Parramatta Shooting
Police were also recently warned about a man “seen taking photos of NSW Police headquarters” prior to the shooting. The NSW Police Force is appealing for more information from the public regarding this incident.