Police sources say the gunman who shot dead a New South Wales police civilian employee was a 15-year-old radicalised youth of Middle Eastern background.

The lone shooter killed the employee as he was leaving police headquarters at Parramatta in Sydney’s west around 4:30pm yesterday.

The offender then fired several more shots at officers as they emerged from the building to respond to the incident.

He was killed when the officers, who are special constables, returned fire.

In an emotional media conference last night, Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione described the incident as a callous attack.

“I’ve viewed a number of pieces of footage. I can tell you this was a brutal crime,” he said.

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