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Police officer shot in siege

| 31.05,09. 03:19 PM |

Police officer shot in siege



May 31, 2009 - 3:14PM

A dramatic siege at a Sydney pub ended when police negotiators convinced the gunman, who was injured, to give himself up after an officer was shot.

Two hostages believed to be employees at the hotel were unharmed.

A witness who lives across the road said the gunman surrendered after being carried out of the hotel by its manager and security guard just before 10am.

Speaking at the scene today, Assistant Commissioner, Catherine Burn, said the officer was shot after police arrived at the Lakes Hotel in Rosebery at about 5.30am. Police had reportedly responded to calls of a robbery at the hotel.

Assistant Commissioner Burn said that the gunman surrended to police just before 10am, and she believed that police had "done a good job".

"It was a very dangerous and difficult situation," Assistant Commissioner Burn said.

She revealed that another four or five other people in the hotel at the time were released throughout the four-hour siege negotiations.

Police investigators would look into how the gunman received gunshot wounds during the seige. It was unclear how he came to be injured.

The gunman was taken under police guard to a St Vincen'ts Hospital.

Earlier, a police spokesman said the injured officer appeared to be in a stable condition. 

"I believe he is in a stable condition because he has been talking (but) we haven't been able to confirm that yet."

Assistant Commissioner Burn said that police risked their lives on the job.

"It's a horrible thing to happen to a police officer," she said about the injured officer.

The hostages were assisting police with their investigations and were with their families.

A woman whose brother was a security guard at the hotel was escorted by police into the hotel following the siege.

The male officer was rushed to Prince of Wales Hospital with a gunshot wound to the right shoulder.

During the siege, police surrounded the area around the pub, with negotiators on the scene.

Concerned family members of those inside waited for news at nearby Primrose Ave, where police had sealed off the area.

Witness Fazli Keskin, who was at a nearby petrol station on Gardeners Road when the police stormed the building, said he heard seven shots fired, in two bursts.

"I was at the service station getting a drink, I was going home, and I saw the cops run into the pub," said Mr Keskin, a regular at the Lakes Hotel.

"There were about two gunshots fired. After that there were cops going in and out, running out for vests. Then we heard 'officer down', and then gun shots fired again.''

Mr Keskin said there were usually about five staff members in the pub when the alleged robbery occurred, having a drink after the 4am closing.

"They're great people, they're fun, they're social people," he said.

Mr Keskin, who grew up in the Rosebery area, but now lives in Ultimo, said he had not seen a situation like this at the pub before.

"It's a quiet area," he said.

"I've heard of robberies before, but nothing major."


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