Sydney CBD shooting: 79-year-old man charged over alleged shooting of solicitor

A man has been charged over the alleged shooting of a solicitor at a law firm in Sydney’s CBD.

The charges against the man, 79, follow shocking scenes from Sydney’s Castlereagh St as emergency services scrambled to the scene, evacuating multiple buildings and cordoning off part of the major CBD thoroughfare.

Police will allege the man got out of the lift carrying a bag with a sawn off M1 carbine semiautomatic rifle inside and holding a pistol about 12.50pm on Wednesday.

He allegedly asked to see solicitor Van Cooney, then shot the 77-year-old.

Mr Van Cooney was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics and first responders before being taken to St Vincent’s Hospital for further treatment in a stable condition.

The 79-year-old was arrested and taken to Day Street Police Station.

Police also seized a rifle and ammunition following a search of his belongings.

He was charged with shoot at with intent to murder, two counts of acquire etc pistol-subject to firearms prohibition order, two counts of possess loaded firearm endanger life non-public place, and two counts of possess unauthorised prohibited firearm.

The man was refused bail and will face Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday.

Pictures taken from Wednesday’s scene reveal a handcuffed man waiting in a police car as officers swarm the area.

NSW Police Inspector David El Badawi confirmed the alleged shooter was not assisting with inquiries.

He said the offender had a small calibre, semiautomatic pistol, which had been confiscated.

Police attended the scene in about three minutes, after being notified of the incident just after 1pm.

Inspector El Badawi said they found the alleged offender held down by staff members at the premises before arresting him.

Police are still investigating the relationship between the alleged shooter and the victim, and would not confirm whether the shooter also worked in the building.

At this stage, authorities have not revealed whether it was a targeted attack.

NSW Ambulance paramedic Dominic Wong said the injured man was not “actively bleeding” once ambulances arrived at the scene.

“I do believe there was first aid rendered by people in the premises,” he said.

Mr Wong added that the alleged shooter appeared to be uninjured, however he declined treatment from paramedics.

– Additional reporting Tess McCracken and Jessica Wang

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