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Launceston home siege: woman said to have been a hostage after home stormed

Australia

Launceston home siege: woman said to have been a hostage after home stormed

A woman’s life was in ‘grave danger’ during a siege with a man that lasted more than 16 hours at a house in northern Tasmania, police say.

The man, 24, and woman, 40, were taken into custody on Saturday morning after barricading themselves in a Launceston home with a gun.

Commander Brett Smith said the siege turned into a hostage situation during negotiations with the pair.

‘The dialogue was such that we strongly believed that woman’s life was in imminent danger,’ he told reporters in Launceston.

‘The situation changed to what we believe became a hostage-siege situation. We felt that the woman’s life was in grave danger.’

Police have stormed a house in northern Tasmania and brought a 16 hour standoff to an end 

Police have stormed a house in northern Tasmania and brought a 16 hour standoff to an end 

Police have stormed a house in northern Tasmania and brought a 16 hour standoff to an end 

Armed officers escorted a woman, 40, and a man, 24, from the home at the Trevallyn suburb in Launceston on Saturday morning

Armed officers escorted a woman, 40, and a man, 24, from the home at the Trevallyn suburb in Launceston on Saturday morning

Armed officers escorted a woman, 40, and a man, 24, from the home at the Trevallyn suburb in Launceston on Saturday morning

Police confirmed on Saturday morning that 33 shots were fired overnight and 14 nearby residents have been evacuated, with no-one injured 

Police confirmed on Saturday morning that 33 shots were fired overnight and 14 nearby residents have been evacuated, with no-one injured 

Police confirmed on Saturday morning that 33 shots were fired overnight and 14 nearby residents have been evacuated, with no-one injured 

The two people were safely taken into custody about 9.50am after police implemented a ‘tactical resolutions strategy’ at the property at New World Avenue in Trevallyn.

Commander Smith said there was ‘some resistance’ from the man when police apprehended him.

Police earlier said the pair were in talks with negotiators to surrender peacefully, since the standoff began at about 4pm on Friday, ABC reported.

They confirmed no-one was injured, despite up to 40 shots fired and residents in the surrounding area evacuated. 

Police did not fire any shots.

‘Since we last spoke at 7.30 this morning, there were other shots discharged from the residence. By whom we’re not sure at this stage,’ Commander Smith said. 

The house is the same New World Avenue address where a different woman was found with a gunshot wound to the leg on Wednesday. 

Commander Smith said the standoff had taken its toll on everyone involved.

‘Especially the residents and the attending emergency services. 

‘The residents can be reassured that their suburb will be returned to normality shortly.’ 

He earlier told the ABC about 34 police officers had been deployed to deal with the situation at any one time.

‘We’re pretty well resourced for this particular type of incident, and we see this as something that is unnecessary, but we’re more than adequate and capable of providing the necessary response,’ he said on Saturday.

Tasmania Police Commander Brett Smith said in a statement a speedy and tactical response was made once it became apparent the woman's life might be in jeopardy

Tasmania Police Commander Brett Smith said in a statement a speedy and tactical response was made once it became apparent the woman's life might be in jeopardy

Tasmania Police Commander Brett Smith said in a statement a speedy and tactical response was made once it became apparent the woman’s life might be in jeopardy

He said police had a range of specialty units that provided front-line support, including members of the Special Operations Group and the bomb response group.

‘Police are attempting to negotiate with both the occupants to a peaceful resolution,’ he said at the time of the standoff.

‘This will be our strategy going forward.’

Detective Inspector Philippa Burk had told The Mercury that police had negotiators in place to peacefully resolve the situation.

‘At this point in time we are not treating it as a hostage situation,’ she said on Friday night.

‘My best advice to both of them is to surrender, put the gun down … and hand yourself in to police.’

A number of nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution and police advised members of the public to avoid the Reatta Road area until further notice.

Tasmania Police Commander Brett Smith told the ABC about 34 police officers had been deployed to deal with the situation at any one time

Tasmania Police Commander Brett Smith told the ABC about 34 police officers had been deployed to deal with the situation at any one time

Tasmania Police Commander Brett Smith told the ABC about 34 police officers had been deployed to deal with the situation at any one time

A number of nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution and police advised members of the public to avoid the Reatta Road area in Tervallyn (pictured) until further notice 

A number of nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution and police advised members of the public to avoid the Reatta Road area in Tervallyn (pictured) until further notice 

A number of nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution and police advised members of the public to avoid the Reatta Road area in Tervallyn (pictured) until further notice 

 

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