The man shot dead by gunman Yacqub Khayre in a Melbourne serviced apartment complex on Monday has been named as Kai Hao.
Speaking to Neil Mitchell on 3AW this morning, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull described the Chinese-born Australian as “a dad… killed by a terrorist”.
“This again is a heartbreaking crime,” he said.
Hao, 36, also known as Nick, was shot and killed by gunman Yacqub Khayre in the foyer of the apartments, where he worked as the receptionist, in Bay Street, Brighton, at around 4pm. Hao had married just 15 days earlier and had a child. Chinese media is reporting that he’d been working at the hotel for five years.
Khayre, a Somali refugee, was on parole for violent crimes and had previously been acquitted over a terrorist plot against Sydney’s Holsworthy army barracks in 2009.
Police say Khayre arranged to meet an escort at the apartments and shot Hao after she arrived, then held the 36-year-old woman hostage for two hours. During that time he contacted the media to say, “This is for IS, this is for Al Qaeda”.
Islamic State subsequently claimed responsibility for the attack.
Khayre was considered “a low-risk person of interest” by anti-terrorism authorities, and has sparked a debate over parole for terrorism-related violent offenders.
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) will meet on Friday, with how to deal with terrorism threats top of the discussion list.
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews is proposing that the Commonwealth play a stronger role in parole decisions for offenders on the terror watch list.
The prime minister said he will discuss the issue with state premiers on Friday.
Citing the Khayre case, which had similarities with Sydney’s Lindt cafe siege gunman Man Haron Monis, Turnbull said: “At the very least, a decision to grant parole to a person with this background, with this combination of violence and associations with terrorism, or terrorists or extremists, that is a decision that should have to go to the very top. In other words, to go to the Attorney-General.”
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