A Timeline of the Sydney Hostage Crisis and Police Siege

Hostages run toward armed tactical response police as they seek freedom from a cafe under siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 16, 2014. PlayRob Griffith/AP Photo
WATCH 3 Dead in Sydney Hostage Siege

The hostage situation in Sydney, Australia, that ended with the death of the gunman and two of his hostages, according to police, began during a busy lunch rush on Monday afternoon local time and ended more than 16 hours later.

The crisis in Lindt Chocolat Café eventually shut down the central business district of Sydney with a volley of gunshots and stun grenades.

Here's a breakdown of how the dramatic events unfolded in Australia:

Sunday, 5:45 p.m. ET: News of a situation reported by local media.

PHOTO: Armed police are seen outside a cafe in the central business district of Sydney on Dec. 15, 2014. Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images
Armed police are seen outside a cafe in the central business district of Sydney on Dec. 15, 2014.

Sunday, 6:02 p.m. ET: New South Wales police force tweets about a "police operation" in Martin Place, a pedestrian mall in Sydney's central business district.

Hostages hold up a black flag in the window:

PHOTO: This image taken from video show people holding up what appeared to be a black flag with white Arabic writing on it, inside a cafe in Sydney, Australia, Dec. 15, 2014. Channel 7 video/AP Photo
This image taken from video show people holding up what appeared to be a black flag with white Arabic writing on it, inside a cafe in Sydney, Australia, Dec. 15, 2014.

Before midnight ET on Monday, three men and two women flee the cafe. Watch the video.

PHOTO: Two hostages, left, run for cover behind a policeman, right, during a hostage siege in the central business district of Sydney on Dec. 15, 2014. William West/AFP/Getty Images
Two hostages, left, run for cover behind a policeman, right, during a hostage siege in the central business district of Sydney on Dec. 15, 2014.

PHOTO: An armed tactical response police officer grabs a hostage as she flees from a cafe under siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 15, 2014. Rob Griffith/AP Photo
An armed tactical response police officer grabs a hostage as she flees from a cafe under siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 15, 2014.

PHOTO: A hostage runs to armed tactical response police officers for safety after she escaped from a cafe under siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 15, 2014. Rob Griffith/AP Photo
A hostage runs to armed tactical response police officers for safety after she escaped from a cafe under siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 15, 2014.

Monday, 7:14 a.m. ET: Police release a map of the "exclusion zone."

10:03 a.m. ET: Two police stationed outside appear to be preparing for something. A small explosion is heard, presumably from inside the cafe and two police move forward immediately towards the entrance. Immediately six hostages emerge: a man in a white shirt runs straight ahead while the others turn left downhill and are escorted away by police.

10:13 a.m. ET: Another explosion or shot is heard but no action is taken by personnel, but they are visibly tense and standing ready.

10:14:23 a.m. ET: Loud gunshots heard as nearly a dozen police officers wait around the corner.

PHOTO: Armed police enter a cafe where hostages are being held at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 15, 2014.Channel 9 Australia
Armed police enter a cafe where hostages are being held at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 15, 2014.

10:14:58 a.m. ET: Thirty seconds later, gun shots stop and alarms sound.

10:15 a.m. ET: Two officers exit with an older female hostage.

PHOTO: Hostages emerge from a cafe under siege at Martin Place in Sydney, AustraliaChannel 9 Australia
Hostages emerge from a cafe under siege at Martin Place in Sydney, Australia

10:18 a.m. ET: Two officers exit carrying another female hostage.

PHOTO: A injured hostage is carried to an ambulance after shots were fired during a cafe siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 16, 2014. Rob Griffith/AP Photo
A injured hostage is carried to an ambulance after shots were fired during a cafe siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 16, 2014.

10:19 a.m. ET: A group of at least 7 armed police officers in full protective gear are seen going in under the cover of "loud bangs," which Sydney's Channel 9 called stun grenades. Watch and listen to the dramatic 30-second video.

10:20 a.m. ET: One empty stretcher, five EMTs walk by.

10:22 a.m. ET: Two EMTs carry a male on a stretcher, followed by second and third individuals on stretchers.

PHOTO: A stretcher is wheeled to an ambulance after shots were fired during a cafe siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 16, 2014. Rob Griffith/AP Photo
A stretcher is wheeled to an ambulance after shots were fired during a cafe siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 16, 2014.

PHOTO: A injured hostage is wheeled to an ambulance after shots were fired during a cafe siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 16, 2014. Rob Griffith/AP Photo
A injured hostage is wheeled to an ambulance after shots were fired during a cafe siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Dec. 16, 2014.

10:44 a.m. ET: New South Wales police tweet that the siege is "over."