Police have shot a man armed with a gun in Queen Street Mall after an hour and half showdown in Brisbane's centre.
The mall was locked down at 11.20am after the man threatened officers, with what they believe was a handgun, while they were doing random street checks in the Myer Centre.
The man reportedly ripped off his shirt and threatened the officers with a gun, sparking what Maxine Anderson described as "mass panic".
"I was on an escalator and the Myer employees ran out screaming 'run, there's a man with a gun'," she said.
"I tried to get out the main entrance but they closed it off and I had to go through Elizabeth Street."
Ms Anderson said people were running for the exits and it took just five minutes for the shopping centre to basically become deserted.
The entire mall was evacuated and taxi driver Tariq Khan witnessed the final moments of the siege just before 1pm.
"Shoot me, shoot me," he said the gunman was yelling at police.
He said at one stage the gunman was offered, and accepted cigarettes, and had a smoke.
The siege ended when officers fired two shots, which are believed to be rubber bullets, just before 1pm.
They said the man suffered "minor injuries" and was taken by ambulance to Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.
During the siege, the gunman – believed to be in his 30s – apparently made his way down from the Myer Centre to Hungry Jacks in the mall, terrified shoppers were told as they were evacuated.
Mayra Treacy was shopping in Dotti when the assistants started closing it up, telling her she had to make the decision to stay or go.
"I asked what was going on and they told me there was a gunman at Hungry Jack's," she said.
"And I decided to stay because I thought it would be safer."
Police eventually came to the shop telling everyone to get out and go down to the end of the mall.
Ms Treacy sprinted down the mall with the Dotti shop assistants.
"It caused quite a spectacle," she said.
"You think this type of thing happens in America, not here."
The mall was closed off at the Edward and George Street ends with police yelling at the crowd in Edward Street to go away.
"There is a man with a firearm at the top of the mall," he said.
"If he comes down here, you will all be in danger.
"You need to go back to work or go hang out somewhere else.
Chief Superintendent Mark Ainsworth praised the swiftness of the police response and confirmed it was a random check by plain clothes officers which uncovered the armed man.
"Police have done an exceptional job in containing this man where he is," he said.
Keiran McCarthy was in the historic Bank of NSW building when at 11.30am heard shouts and assumed it was a protest but then saw people were being evacuated from mall.
Employees tried to leave the building but were stopped by police.
"Within 10 minutes of that more cars turned up," he said.
"A SERT car moved into position near Milano, the mall was completely cleared.
"But we waited for about an hour, nothing happened and then as quickly as anything I heard two shots."
A woman at the scene said the man was shot with a "beanbag gun" outside of Milano Cafe.
- with Amy Remeikis, Marissa Calligeros, Scott Beveridge and AAP.