Po­lice raid house to end siege

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS -

FEARS a woman’s life was in grave dan­ger prompted heav­ily armed po­lice to storm a house and end a 16-hour siege.

A man, 24, and woman, 40, were taken into cus­tody yes­ter­day morn­ing af­ter bar­ri­cad­ing them­selves in­side the house in Launce­s­ton, in north­ern Tas­ma­nia, with a gun.

Com­man­der Brett Smith said what started as a siege es­ca­lated into a hostage sit­u­a­tion dur­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions.

“The di­a­logue was such that we strongly be­lieved that the woman’s life was in im­mi­nent dan­ger,” he said.

Up to 40 shots were fired from the house dur­ing the siege that started about 4pm on Fri­day.

Mr Smith said there was some re­sis­tance from the man when po­lice ap­pre­hended him.

“Po­lice risked their lives to save the life of an­other per­son and they should be com­mended for their brav­ery,” he said.

There were 38 po­lice at the scene, in­clud­ing mem­bers of the Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Group and bomb re­sponse group, and 14 nearby res­i­dents were forced to evac­u­ate.

Paul Lan­ham, who lives on an ad­join­ing street, said he heard ex­plo­sions shortly be­fore po­lice ran into the house about 9.50am.

“I was sit­ting in my liv­ing room and I thought my win­dows were go­ing to smash,” he said. “I could hear this woman wail­ing.”

A sec­ond woman was shot in the leg at the same house on Wed­nes­day.

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