In a small South Australian town, two police officers were stabbed and their claimed attacker was killed.
SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said Brevet Sergeant Ian Todd, 53, and Brevet Sergeant Jordan Allely, 32, were hospitalized with critical injuries after responding to a property at 10.15am (10.45am AEST) on Wednesday in Crystal Brook, around 200 kilometers north of Adelaide.
The resident allegedly stabbed the two officers before being shot dead at the scene by police.
Todd, from neighboring Port Germein, was stabbed in the neck, arm, and hands, according to the police commissioner. He was airlifted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
Allely, the local officer in Crystal Brook, was stabbed in the right leg and arm. He is in a serious, but stable condition and was also flown to Adelaide after first being taken to Port Pirie Hospital.
Stevens, speaking at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, said a nearby resident had provided first aid before paramedics arrived. He thanked both for their rapid response to a “very traumatic” scene.
“In all likelihood, their swift actions have saved the life of at least one police officer,” he said.
Both officers had close family members in the force, according to the police commissioner. Todd’s son-in-law runs the Kadina police station on Yorke Peninsula, while Allely’s boyfriend is a policeman and his father runs the Hallett police station, which is around 80 kilometers east of Crystal Brook.
“The impact of this incident on the police family extends beyond the officers who responded to the scene today,” Stevens said. “They’re kind people… They are also respected for the manner they perform their duties. These local communities will bear the brunt of the consequences.”
Stevens said the officers went to the Symons Street property to follow up a “relatively benign” incident that had occurred at the local supermarket on Tuesday. He did not provide details, saying he wanted to avoid interfering with the investigation.
SA Police Association president Mark Carroll said the officer stabbed in the neck and was in a “very bad way”.
“It’s a tragedy for everybody,” Carroll said. “I think this incident just highlights how dangerous policing is on a day-to-day, shift-by-shift basis.”
South Australia Premier Peter Malinauskas said he had been briefed by Stevens about Wednesday’s incident.
“My thoughts are with the two injured officers and their families,” he posted on Twitter.
“Our police put their lives on the line every day keeping us safe, for that we are forever grateful.”
According to the police commissioner, the incident is currently being thoroughly probed, and a coronial inquiry as well as a commission of inquiry will be held.
“Police officers who attend work have every right to expect to go home safely at the end of their shift,” Stevens added.
“However, we can’t ignore the fact that policing has inherent dangers.” The kinds of perils that no other occupation has to deal with.”