Police siege unfolds in Gympie

Police still on the hunt for gunman linked to highway siege

UPDATE Tuesday 3pm:

POLICE are still searching for a man, 31, who eluded a Bruce Highway blockade in Gympie on Sunday.

Police closed the highway from Albert Park to Channon Street, also blocking Kidd Bridge access to the city.

Police stormed a converted timber house unit block on the southern side of the highway during a tense afternoon.

They had hoped to find a man, believed to be staying in one of the units, who was wanted after reportedly brandishing a gun out a car window at The Palms.

Investigations led police to the Bruce Highway address, near the Caltex Service Station on the northbound side.

Police broke into the unit but did not find the man they were looking for.

Investigations are ongoing, police said.

UPDATE: Monday 9.30am:

GYMPIE police are searching for a 31-year-old man who allegedly swung a gun out a car window threateningly who may or may not still be armed.    

The man reportedly stole a Toyota Landcruiser from the Kilkivan General Store when a customer entered the store last Sunday (August 4), Wide Bay Burnett Detective Acting Inspector David Harbison  said. 

Last Friday a witness reportedly saw a man driving the stolen car on Jimbour Road near Glastonbury Road, The Palms via Gympie.   

The witness said they saw the man hold a black hand gun out the window in a threatening manner.  

Emergency armed police surrounded a unit on the Bruce Highway on Sunday afternoon and reportedly bashed through a door to get to a
Emergency armed police surrounded a unit on the Bruce Highway on Sunday afternoon and reportedly bashed through a door to get to a "person of interest". Contributed

"Police made a concerted effort to locate the vehicle and wanted person on this day to no avail," Det Act Insp Harbison said.   

The stolen Toyota Landcruiser was found on Saturday (August 10) dumped on a 4WD track behind the Southside dump near Gympie.  

Investigations led police to a number of Gympie addresses yesterday, including a unit complex in Wickham St on the Bruce Highway, the police spokesman said.   

The Bruce Highway was shut down for just under an hour, from about 4.30pm, as police cordoned a large section around the property.   

It was believed the wanted man was in the unit, Det Act Insp Harbison said.   

Specialist police, CIB and tactical crime squad officers searched the unit but the wanted person was not found.   "Police are not aware if the male person is still armed but are taking all necessary precautions," Det Act Insp Harbison said.   

"His current whereabouts are not known, he is described as 168 cm tall, 75kg slim, hazel eyes, he has a tattoo including cursive writing on the left side of his neck."  

Police urge anyone with information to contact crime stoppers to report the whereabouts of the wanted man.     

 

EARLIER: Monday 6.30am:

THE Gympie police and Queensland Police Service are unable to provide an update of the dramatic events that unfolded on the Bruce Highway late yesterday.

A Queensland Police Service spokeswoman could only confirm that yesterday police were looking for a "person of interest" and that the person was not located.

Police are no longer at the unit on the Bruce Highway, where yesterday it was reported squads of emergency police stormed the area and broke down the door to move in on a potentially armed person inside. 

Emergency armed police surrounded a unit on the Bruce Highway on Sunday afternoon and reportedly bashed through a door to get to a
Emergency armed police surrounded a unit on the Bruce Highway on Sunday afternoon and reportedly bashed through a door to get to a "person of interest". Contributed

A witness captured the scene on video from a business across the road. 

Police were heard saying: 

"This is the police. Come out the front door - we mean you no harm."

The unit is part of house located next to the Caltex Service Station on the northbound lane of the Bruce Highway, opposite Red Rooster. 

An exclusion zone was set up at 4.25pm yesterday on the Bruce Highway between Monkland St and Wickham St.

Police block a section of Bruce Highway as dramatic siege scenes unfold at a property on the Bruce Highway.
Police block a section of Bruce Highway as dramatic siege scenes unfold at a property on the Bruce Highway. Frances Klein

Numerous trucks lined the side of the highway near Albert Park, unable to use the low-clearance diversion in place. 

More information as it comes to hand. 

EARLIER: Sunday 6.30pm 

POLICE have corrected an earlier eyewitness report that a man had been arrested after a siege near the Bruce Highway this afternoon.

In an afternoon of drama, police blocked off the Bruce Highway from Channon St to south of Albert Park to clear the area.

"We've been told there is an armed man," one woman said as she reconsidered her accommodation plans.

"We had been booked into a motel on the highway, but we can't get there," she said.

SIEGE: Police closed off the Bruce Highway through Gympie this afternoon in response to what witnesses say was a siege.
SIEGE: Police closed off the Bruce Highway through Gympie this afternoon in response to what witnesses say was a siege. Arthur Gorrie

A police spokeswoman said officers had believed there was an armed man at the unit and responded by keeping the public at a distance and establishing an incident scene at a two-unit timber building on the south side of the highway.

Police were still investigating and trying to locate a person who was earlier reported to be possibly armed.

Officers reportedly broke down the front door of the unit building and were initially thought to have detained a man, as well as witnesses.

However new information indicates the man may still be at large.

Police remain on the scene, near the Caltex Service station.

 

WITNESS: Eyewitness Adam Marshall was buying pizza from Dominos when the action unfolded. The white house behind him is believed to be the location of the police incident, possibly a siege, this afternoon.
WITNESS: Eyewitness Adam Marshall was buying pizza from Dominos when the action unfolded. The white house behind him is believed to be the location of the police incident, possibly a siege, this afternoon. Philippe Coquerand

One witness said police were calling a man's name and had deployed a drone above a house.

Officers then broke down the front door and burst in.

Two squads of armed emergency police, including one from Brisbane, are believed to have been involved in the incident, which began before 5pm and ended about half an hour later.

Eye witness Adam Marshall was buying pizza from Dominos when the action unfoled.

Other witnesses said police were calling out a man's name and telling him to answer his phone and come out.

"It wasn't scary," another witness said. "Police were in charge of it and handled the situation very carefully."

It is understood the man had left the scene before police could gain entry to the unit, one of two in a converted timber house on the highway.

Gympie Times


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