Police raid house to end siege
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.