Man Shot Dead By Police Following 10-Hour Standoff In Croc-Infested Waters
A man has been shot dead by police following a 10-hour standoff while waist deep in a crocodile infested swap in Cairns.
The man had been trying to evade police by wading through the mangrove swamps and sugar cane fields just north of Cairns Airport.
Police allege the man raised his firearm while in the middle of the swamp and they returned fire about 3.15 pm.
It is believed he had fired multiple shots at police beforehand and the man was declared dead at the scene.
Police said the siege began when the man tried to break into an infrastructure facility off the Captain Cook Highway at Palm Cove about 4.30 am, but was disturbed by a nearby resident.
He then fled the scene by car and reportedly deliberately collided with a police vehicle attending the incident, before veering towards an officer who was standing on the side of the road.
The 26-year-old police officer suffered a suspected broken wrist but was otherwise unharmed.
The offender then pulled over on the Captain Cook Highway at Yorkey’s Knob before setting the car on fire.
A report from the Cairns Post suggests the fire caused ammunition inside the vehicle to explode.
When police approached him, the man produced a firearm and fired a shot toward officers before running away.
As they tried to search for him in the long grass, authorities said the man fired more shots towards the officers.
He was soon found, standing waist-deep in the crocodile-infected swamp where he once again raised his firearm. Police returned fire, killing the man.
“I’m extremely grateful no police are dead,’’ Police Chief Superintendent Brian Huxley told The Courier Mail.
“If officers are in fear of their life, they can take lethal action."
Huxley said the man fired multiple shots with a "high-powered" rifle and at the rescue chopper.
According to Huxley police also tired to negotiate with the man.
“We’ve got no idea what set him off, but there will be a long, complex and protracted investigation," he said.
“But he was avoiding us, for quite a bit of time he was in the muddy, croc-infested water. And a large crocodile was sighted during the siege.’’
The incident is still under investigation.