Police report the lockdown at Westfield Warrawong is over, after a siege involving two gunmen at the Hoyts cinema.
Chris Paver reports that Westfield tenants are being allowed back in to the shopping centre.
A 27-year-old woman arrested earlier today has been charged with aggravated break and enter. She has been refused bail and will appear in Wollongong Local Court tomorrow.
Police believe the gunmen are no longer at the scene.
Cydonee Mardon reports police have been sweeping the building but have failed to find the gunmen.
There was a short period of time between when the security guards first spotted the men and police arriving and it is believed this is when they got away.
A manhunt will now get underway to track down the gunmen.
Police are about to hold a press conference at the scene.
Chris Paver reports that a crowd has gathered at Warrawong McDonald’s opposite the Hoyts cinema, at the corner of King St and Northcliffe Dr.
Some business owners and employees said they understood Westfield Warrawong wouldn’t be open for the rest of the day.
Alarms at Westfield are still being set off periodically.
A crowd of residents and onlookers has also gathered at Cowper St but most of the police presence is on the southern side. Cowper St is open to traffic heading to Port Kembla.
Subway owner David Vasquez told Mercury reporter Chris Paver he was inside the centre shortly after 6am when police entered the food court and told everyone to evacuate.
"Police ladies came in screaming out 'Is anyone in here'. I said 'Yep'. They said: 'You have got to evacuate the building straight away'. I asked why and they said to me 'there is a gunman in the centre and we need to be evacuated'."
Cydonee Mardon reports that police negotiators and tactical response unit officers have entered Westfield Warrawong.
There are reports police this morning arrested a Warrawong woman at the scene.
She is now at Lake Illawarra Police Station assisting police with their inquiries.
Mercury reporter Cydonee Mardon reports from the scene that police have just set off all the alarms inside Westfield Warrawong in what appears to be a tactic to force the gunmen from the building.
Lake Illawarra police Sergeant Jason Harrison said police had no information leading them to believe the gunmen had any hostages.
He said there was no information to suggest the men had left the scene and police were now conducting a sweep of the building.
PolAir, dog squad, state protection support unit, rescue squad, detectives and general duties officers are at the scene.
About 9am specialist armed officers were spotted running up the stairs at the King St entrance, looking into the windows.
Witnesses reported seeing teams of heavily armed police entering the front and rear of the Westfield building after 6am.
Lake Illawarra police were called to a cinema complex at the corner of King and Cowper Streets about 6.10am after security reported two people had entered the building.
Police have closed the shopping complex and set up a command post.
King Street is closed south of Cowper Street to Northcliffe Drive, and Northcliffe Drive is closed to east of King Street.
Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.
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