Gunman shot dead by police in Cairns siege


The tense 10-hour siege north of Cairns yesterday, that closed the Captain Cook Highway near Yorkeys Knob, ended with the fugitive gunman shot dead by police.

Qld police confirmed the ordeal began around 4:30am when a man allegedly attempted to break into an infrastructure facility off the Captain Cook Highway at Palm Cove.

“The man was disturbed by a nearby resident and left the scene. As the man was leaving in his car, he deliberately collided with a police vehicle attending the incident,” police said.

A short time later at Smithfield, the man deliberately veered towards a police officer on the side of the road.

“As a result, a 26-year-old constable suffered a suspected broken wrist and other non-life-threatening injuries," police said.

Police said the man’s vehicle stopped on the Captain Cook Highway at Yorkeys Knob where he allegedly set it on fire.

“As police approached, the man allegedly produced a firearm and discharged a shot towards officers prior to running from his vehicle.

“Police established a cordon around an area to the west of the Captain Cook Highway to contain the man,” police said.

While trying to identify the man’s whereabouts among the long grass, several shots were allegedly fired towards police and a helicopter that was searching for him.

Around 3.15pm, it will be alleged the man was in waist-deep water in Thomatis creek, when he raised the firearm towards police. As a result, the man was critically injured when police returned fire.

Attempts to save the man’s life failed and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

This matter is now under investigation by Ethical Standards Command on behalf of the State Coroner. That investigation is subject to oversight by the Crime and Corruption Commission.

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