Mel McMillan

Police officer shot in face at Gold Coast armed robbery

Updated report, 10.07am: A GOLD Coast police officer attached to the dog squad was shot in the face after an armed robbery in the early hours of this morning.

Police were called to the scene at 1.20am.  

Sergeant Gary Hamrey was tracking two men allegedly armed with a machete and firearm after the pair held up Arundel Tavern, Parkwood.  

Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner Graham Rynders said the offenders allegedly fled the scene with a sum of cash before the dog squad tracked the men to a residential area at Parkwood.   

Police tracked the men to a garden shed on an acreage.   "As he got to the side of garden shed he was shot," Assistant Commissioner Rynders said.  

Sgt Hamrey was shot under the left cheek with a small calibre rifle.   The bullet entered his face and exited close to his ear drum.  

Assistant Commissioner Rynders said he understood Sgt Hamrey was shot from "a matter of feet" away.

"This is a very cowardly act," he said.   

The veteran officer managed to regain his composure and returned fire at the two thieves. "Both males received gunshot wounds," Assistant Commissioner Rynders said.   

"One was detained at scene."  

The second escaped but was later detained by police.  

Assistant Commissioner Rynders said Sgt Hamrey and his partner at the scene returned fire to protect themselves and were not shot at again.  

One of the offenders sustained at least three gunshot wounds and the other a single wound. Sgt Hamrey is in a stable condition and is understood to have suffered no structural damage, but did suffer a compression injury to his ear drum.   

"He's a very, very lucky man," Assistant Commissioner Rynders said.  

"He is an amazing man; his first thoughts were that of his dogs.  

"He got on the phone and checked on the welfare of his dog and I can tell you he said "Boss I'll be back at work as soon as I can."  

Assistant Commissioner Rynders said his heart sank when he heard another officer had been shot.  Queensland Police now have four crime scenes to examine.  

"We have a criminal investigation running parallel with an internal investigation," he said.  

The shooting was a remarkably similar to an incident that saw Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding killed in 2011.  His killers were found guilty earlier this week.  

"Here we are on Police Remembrance Day and another police officer has suffered the gunshot wound," he said.

Assistant Commissioner Rynders said the two offenders are undergoing surgery today and will be charged shortly.  

 

Initial report, 6.29am: A POLICE officer suffered a gunshot wound and two men suffered minor injuries in an attempted armed robbery on the Gold Coast this morning.

Initial information suggests officers responded to an armed robbery at a tavern on Napper Road, Parkwood at 1.20am.

The officer has been taken to the Gold Coast Hospital, and it is believed his injury is non-life-threatening.

Two men are currently assisting police with their inquiries. They sustained minor injuries.

There is no further information available at this time.



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