Tense standoff ends, pair to face 38 charges
A tense standoff with two armed men in Brisbane ended more than six hours after they barricaded themselves inside an apartment and allegedly fired a shot at officers.
Queensland Police said the siege in the inner west suburb of Auchenflower ended just before 5pm QLD time and the two men were arrested without incident.
A 33-year-old man has been charged with 21 offences including possession of a firearm, two counts unlawful possession of weapons, five counts each of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and stealing, three counts of burglary, two counts of break and enter and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
A 29-year-old man has been charged with 17 offences including two counts of unlawful possession of weapons, four counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, three counts of stealing, three counts of burglary and two counts of break and enter.
Both men are due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court today.
SERT officers surrounded the apartment just before the siege came to an end and were spotted standing on the roof and scoping out the apartment directly above the two holed up men.
A number of ambulances also pulled into the driveway of the Chasely Apartments Hotel before the siege ended.
Police later seized several firearms from the unit.
Earlier, a police robot was seen driving down Brisbane's deserted Coronation Drive as specialist teams began to surround the men.
A Queensland Police spokesman said the robot was used by specialist response teams for a variety of reasons and could be being used to get video footage from positions too dangerous for officers to reach.
A shot was fired at police earlier Monday by one of the two men, who were holed up the apartment block since 11am.
The QPS spokesman said the use of the robot was "pretty standard" and was used by police for everything from breaking down doors to taking equipment into strongholds or for video surveillance.
Footage taken at the scene of the siege showed the robot being directed through the city's ghost streets, towards the apartment.
A major police operation took place with local streets and one of the city's major thoroughfares cordoned off causing traffic chaos.
Commuters were told to avoid the area and paramedics are on standby.
Inspector Tony Ridge told reporters that officers were at the Chasely Apartment Hotel on Coronation Drive at around 11am to investigate property offences across the city's south side when the two men, and their guns, were discovered.
"When our Special Emergency Response Team officers were gaining entry to the unit, a shot was fired and the two male offenders barricaded themselves inside a unit."
There were no injuries.
Police negotiated with the two suspects, who are understood to be known to authorities.
On its website, the Chasely Apartment Hotel is described as an "affordable home-away-from-home at the best riverside address in Brisbane".
The site says the block offers one and two bedroom apartments that are "next door to the renowned Wesley Hospital". Access to that hospital is now restricted due to the siege.
The short stay apartments are popular with visiting healthcare staff and family and friends of patients. Guests were not evacuated but were told to keep their curtains closed.
It's alleged the men were renting the unit and had only been there for a few days.
'WE'LL NEGOTIATE AS LONG AS WE NEED TO'
Earlier Monday, Insp Ridge explained in more detail about the operation: "There were a number of property offences from the south side of Brisbane and it was detectives from Upper Mount Gravatt CIB who were conducting those investigations.
"No persons have been injured which is a good thing. We'll negotiate as long as we can to resolve this situation peacefully.
"Nearby residents are quite safe. The two armed offenders are contained quite well in the unit that they're in. We've had to move a number of people to a safer location," he said.
Police made an emergency declaration under the Public Safety and Preservation Act cordoning off an area encompassed by Coronation Drive, Lang Parade, Dunmore Terrace and Chasely Street and up to Land Street.
Coronation Drive is one of the city's main thoroughfares.
Staff at the Wesley Hospital continued treating patients as normal but traffic was blocked. Ambulances were prioritised.
Police boats also blocked all traffic on the nearby Brisbane River, including all River Cat ferries. All bus services were suspended.
"I am aware there is traffic congestion in the surrounding streets and I ask that local residents be patient while we work to resolve this situation as peacefully as we can," said Insp Ridge.