19 July 2018

Man charged with attempted murder after hospital shooting

| Ian Bushnell
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Canberra Hospital’s emergency department where a police gun was taken and fired on Wednesday.

A 26-year-old Chisholm man will today face the ACT Magistrates Court charged with a raft of offences, including two counts of attempted murder, following an incident at the Canberra Hospital yesterday (Wednesday, 18 July 2018) in which a police officer’s gun was taken and fired.

Police said that about 4 pm, the man was under police guard at the hospital’s emergency department after being arrested for serious traffic offences related to a serious crash on Yamba Drive when he attempted to escape and assaulted the arresting officers.

During the altercation the offender managed to grab an officer’s weapon and fire a shot into the ceiling. The man was disarmed and restrained by police and no members of the public or hospital staff were physically injured. The ABC reported that police used a Taser to subdue the man.

The man has been charged with;

  • Two counts of attempted murder
  • Assault occasioning actual bodily harm
  • Discharging a firearm endangering life
  • Attempting to escape from custody or arrest
  • Attempted robbery
  • Driving a motor vehicle without consent
  • Two counts of culpable driving causing grievous bodily harm
  • Being an unlicensed driver

ACT Policing said that the incident had been declared a critical incident and AFP Professional Standards would continue to investigate its circumstances. The preliminary assessment indicated there were no misconduct issues arising from the officers’ actions during the incident.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact ACT Policing on 131444.

ACT Health says ACT Policing has handed the affected area of the ED back to the hospital.

It said in a statement there was minor damage to a small area of the ED that will need to be checked and repaired.

“This has been cordoned off while further assessment of the damage is undertaken and repair work commences later today,” the statement said.

”We would like to thank the community for their patience while we work as quickly as possible to undertake the repair work in the affected area of the ED.”

While the ED was still operational, ACT Health encouraged people with non-life or limb threatening injuries and/or illnesses to consider alternative treatment options. These include:

  • Community Pharmacist – your local pharmacist is qualified to give you expert advice on many health issues;
  • healthdirect – call 24 hours a day seven days a week on 1800 022 222 for free expert advice and reassurance;
  • Walk-in-Centres – for one-off treatment of minor illness and injuries for those over the age of two, see a specialist nurse seven days a week. Walk-in Centres are located in the Belconnen and Tuggeranong Community Health Centres and are open from 7.30am to 10pm daily;
  • General Practitioners – for ongoing comprehensive health care for everyone, including those with acute problems, children under two years and those who have complex medical problems, your GP is your best option;
  • CALMS – 1300 422 567, the call centre is open weeknights from 6pm and all day weekends and public holidays, with CALMS clinics open from 8pm; and
  • National Home Doctor Service – 137425, from 6pm weeknights to 12pm on Saturday and all daySunday and public holidays. All National Home Doctor Service after hours GP home visits are bulk billed.

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