WATCH: Most dramatic moments of Sydney hostage-taking as it happened
WATCH ABOVE: Gunfire erupts as swat moves in on hostage situation in Australia.
TORONTO – A lengthy hostage situation in Sydney, Australia has come to an abrupt and violent end. Investigators are still trying to piece together exactly what happened that caused local police to move in on alleged suspect Man Haron Monis.
But the events leading up to the climax – a dramatic gun fight – were quite unnerving to watch.
It all started when the suspect entered the Lindt Chocolate Café in Sydney’s Martin Place before 10 a.m. local time. Soon after, police were called after an initial report of a robbery in progress.
WATCH ABOVE: Witness describes scene of hostage situation in cafe
One man who works at the café, Bruno, told media he thought it was “weird” when he arrived early for work to find the door locked and people sitting inside.
WATCH ABOVE: Footage shows Australia gunman walking by window with hostage
As the situation escalated into a hostage crisis, Sky News in Australia broadcast video that appears to show the alleged gunman walk behind a hostage who passes a window with their hands raised in the air.
WATCH ABOVE: Video shows some possible hostages fleeing from cafe
The question of whether anyone would survive was answered some time later when the first three hostages – all male – ran to safety. In distress, the men can be seen speaking with armed police officers seconds after leaving the café.
WATCH ABOVE: More hostages emerge from Sydney cafe
Nearly an hour later, two women emerged from the Martin Place building. Both females were running away, wearing aprons – possibly the employee uniform at the café.
WATCH ABOVE: Several hostages flee in build up to climactic gun battle
Moments before the climactic end to the ordeal, several more hostages can be seen fleeing towards armed police with their hands clearly raised.
WATCH ABOVE: Police storm Sydney cafe after sniper reports ‘Hostage down’
At around 2:30 a.m., authorities make the decision to storm the café after a police sniper allegedly told a superior, “hostage down.” Within moments, a tactical unit charges in and deploys flash bangs while several hostages flee.
WATCH ABOVE: Hostage removed after gunfire in Australia
As glass shards can be seen spraying across the road outside, one woman is carried out and down the street to safety by two officers. The unidentified woman weeps uncontrollably as blood drips down her left leg.
WATCH ABOVE: CPR given to person outside of Sydney cafe
Seconds later, a second person is removed from the building and immediately placed on the ground for medical attention. First responders can be seen providing chest compressions to the wounded individual.
Less than fifteen minutes after gunshots rang out, Sydney police confirmed the hostage situation had ended.
Local media outlets report that at least two were killed during the altercation – including gunman Man Monis.
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