A gunman who killed a man and took a woman hostage before dying in a police shootout had been acquitted of plotting a terror attack at a Sydney army base years earlier, police in Australia said Tuesday. The siege Monday at an apartment building in a Melbourne suburb was being treated as an act of terror, but Victoria state Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton says the gunman appears to have acted alone and not as part of any ongoing plot or threat, the AP reports. Three police officers were wounded. The gunman, Yacqub Khayre, 29, was one of two men acquitted by a jury in 2010 of plotting a suicide attack in Sydney. Three people were convicted of conspiracy for that plot, which police thwarted before it could be executed.
Khayre, a Somali refugee, served sentences for arson and violent crimes unrelated to extremism before being paroled in November, police say. On Monday, Khayre booked an appointment with an escort in an apartment building and arrived carrying a shotgun, sparking a 2-hour siege. Khayre killed a man employed by the escort agency and then called police to say he had a hostage in an apartment and made threats to her if police intervened. They tried to negotiate with him before Khayre walked out of the building firing the shotgun. The woman was not harmed. ISIS claimed responsibility for the violence, though police say there is no evidence that it was planned or that it was linked to the London attack. (Read more Australia stories.)