Queensland police officer shot in the face while chasing suspected armed robbers on the Gold Coast (ABC) - ( 4U5TR4L14 )
A long-serving Queensland police officer is undergoing surgery after being shot in the face during an armed robbery on the Gold Coast.
Dog Squad Sergeant Gary Hamrey was shot below his left cheekbone when he confronted two thieves hiding behind a garden shed on acreage at Parkwood early this morning.
The pair, armed with a machete and a rifle, had allegedly robbed the Arundel Tavern at closing time.
Assistant Commissioner Graham Rynders says Sergeant Hamrey and a senior constable from Runaway Bay tracked the pair to the garden shed.
“Despite the fact that he’d been wounded was able to regain his composure and he and the other officer both returned fire on the males,” he said.
“Both of those male persons sustained gunshot wounds. One was immediately detained at the scene.
The second made his escape down a side yard and he was later detained by police who had set up a cordon in that street”
Police say one man, 23, was shot in the foot and the other, 47, was shot in the leg.
The pair allegedly stormed into the Arundel Tavern at around 1:30am (local time), demanding access to a safe and escaping with cash.
The police dog squad spotted the two men while patrolling through a nearby park.
Sergeant Hamrey was shot after calling out to the pair.
The bullet passed through his cheek and jawbone before exiting through his ear.
He was taken to Southport Hospital in a serious condition.
His injuries are not considered life-threatening.
The two alleged robbers were taken to the same hospital and placed under police guard.
Police are yet to lay charges.
Chief Superintendent Stephen Hollands calling for anyone with information about the incident to come forward.
“Obviously if anyone’s seen anything that would be very helpful, we do have a mobile police facility set up at the moment at Napper Road out there at Ernest,” he said.
“We have a number of police officers out there so if anyone has seen or heard anything, by all means approach a police officer and we’ll get that information from you.”
The incident happened on Police Remembrance Day, when police stop to remember those who have lost their lives on the line of duty.
Queensland Police Union acting president Shayne Maxwell says the timing could not be worse.
“It is shocking,” he said.
“The sentencing of the … people involved in the murder of Damian Leeding is this morning and [it is] Police Remembrance Day, where police gather to remember those who have lost their lives in the execution of their duty to the people of Queensland.”
Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding died after being shot in the head while trying to stop an armed robbery at the Pacific Pines Tavern, just a few kilometres away from where Sergeant Hamrey was shot, in May 2011.
Two people convicted of his murder faced a sentencing hearing today, .