Gympie residents in shock as real life drama unfolds
SOME of Queensland's most highly trained emergency police were part of two sensational operations in Gympie on Tuesday night, it has been revealed.
Heavily armed Special Emergency Response Team officers blasted their way in to a Lawrence St home to arrest a wanted man who had allegedly barricaded himself in.
A second raid in Myall St quickly followed, Wide Bay CIB reported yesterday.
Detective Acting Inspector Nikki Colffs told The Gympie Times the Myall St raid resulted in a man and a woman being charged with drug and weapons offences.
By then, a considerable part of inner-Gympie was already in shock after a drama, not unlike something out of an action movie.
Lawrence St residents were mostly settling down for dinner and television, when a series of loud staccato explosions, combined with the rapid appearance of crowds of police, meant the drama suddenly was no longer just on TV.
A police lockdown and a reasonable fear of stray bullets kept immediate residents indoors, while a big crowd of their near-neighbours gathered at a nearby Musgrave St vantage point.
As tear gas traces began to drift towards them, some began to cough and police advised anyone with breathing troubles, including asthma, to move away.
Several residents contacted The Gympie Times to report what they believed was gunfire.
But the explosions now appear to have been stun and/or gas grenades, used by SERT officers to clear the house for entry.
SERT officers began megaphone negotiations with a man inside a house.
An armoured SERT vehicle was used to protect police involved in the raid as they prepared to blast a way inside with stun grenades.
Then came a series of grenade blasts that left the house damaged with all its windows blown out.
Police dogs then searched the house, including its ceiling where it is believed the man was hiding.
Police were heard to warn him to remain still or the police dogs would bite.
Armed with military-style rifles, the officers quickly arrested a man, who was taken to Gympie Hospital by ambulance.