News State Tasmania Police storm house, bangs heard in dramatic end to Launceston siege

Police storm house, bangs heard in dramatic end to Launceston siege

Police say a decision to storm the house was made after the siege escalated very quickly. Photo: ABC News
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Armed Tasmanian officers have entered a Launceston house and brought a 16-hour siege to an end after they felt a “woman’s life was in imminent danger”.

Police had earlier said a 24-year-old man and a 47-year-old woman were keeping police at bay, and they urged the pair to surrender peacefully.

At least 33 shots were fired from the house during the siege, which began at 4.30pm on Friday afternoon, police said.

Heavily armed officers moved in on Saturday morning and loud bangs were heard during the raid before a 24-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman were both brought out.

“No-one has been injured,” police said.

The house is the same address in New World Avenue, Trevallyn, where a 47-year-old woman was shot in the leg last Wednesday.

Fear for woman’s safety forced hand, police say

Commander Brett Smith said in a statement the “tactical resolution was employed after the situation escalated in a very short space of time”.

“It was always our intention to resolve the situation peacefully and we were committed to using a range of strategies and resources to manage a peaceful resolution.

“However, there came a point where police were of the strong view that the woman’s life was in imminent danger,” Commander Smith said.

He described the fact no one was injured as it as “frankly a miracle, and thanks to the very good work of police, their professionalism, in this ordeal”.

Earlier, police confirmed a window in a police car was shot out.

Commander Smith said, despite the incident, the area was a “lovely community”.

“All of Launceston is a really good place to live, it’s a lovely community, but from time to time we do have these types of things occur it happens all over Australia, Launceston is no different.”

He said what the community could “take to heart is our response, I’m very proud of our response”.

Police said a shot took out the window of this unmarked police car. Photo: ABC News/Henry Zwartz

“As a consequence, we employed a tactical resolution whereby police risked their lives to save the life of another and they should be commended for their courage and actions.”

Commander Smith said it had been a “difficult situation for all involved”.

“Especially the residents and the attending emergency services. The residents can be reassured that their suburb will be returned to normality shortly.”

Police said they “would like to thank the Trevallyn community for their patience and understanding over the course of the incident”.

Police did ‘absolutely fabulous job’

Trevallyn resident Graeme, who did not want his last name published, said he was startled by the detonations of flashbangs as the raid began, at first thinking it was gunfire.

“I don’t know whether it was scary gunfire or not, but they went in there and they did an absolutely fabulous job,” he said.

“There were two police teams, one down the front of the house, one down the back. They broke the glass, they threw in the flash-bomb and went in. Next thing we hear a young lady being brought out in what looked like handcuffs, dragging, screaming and carrying on.”

Graeme said he watched the whole thing unfold out of his window.

“We weren’t frightened at any time. You’re always curious, you look out the window like you shouldn’t … but we didn’t feel under threat. We weren’t frightened.”

He said police did “a very good job. An excellent job”.

Another neighbour, Georgie, who also did not give her last name, said she was frightened by the ordeal in her street.

“It was pretty terrifying, it’s a really sleepy neighbourhood. It’s quite distressing and quite unusual for New World to have this.”

She said it was “almost like a film” and she was “happy it’s over”.