July 17, 2018 15:33:32
Police have lifted a declared danger zone at Wallaroo, imposed a different one and say forensic services are attending a crime scene in the town, where a gunman they earlier named as Jake Dohnt has been hunted for more than a day.
- Police searching Wallaroo for local “armed and dangerous” man Jake Dohnt
- Convicted criminal wanted after brandishing a gun at police on Monday
- Yorke Peninsula town residents locked out of homes during search
They said the 25-year-old Wallaroo man was “armed and dangerous” and produced a handgun when they tried to approach him a day ago, in Daly Street.
An officer fired a shot at the man, who ran off.
Police said they were still searching for Dohnt and had now declared a new danger zone, bounded by Matta Street, Cornish Terrace, Hughes Street and Gardiner Street.
Officers initially tried to pull the man over in a car on the Spencer Highway about 1:00am on Monday.
He later abandoned his Holden Commodore in Wallaroo, after police had chased him.
Acting officer in charge of the Yorke Mid North Local Service Area Inspector Allison Clark said Dohnt was dangerous, and wanted over a pursuit and firearms offences.
“Our aim is to encourage Jake to come forward to the police so we can work with him and resolve this situation safely and peacefully with no-one getting hurt,” Inspector Clark said.
“I also appeal to anyone knowing the whereabouts of Jacob or [who] has information about his whereabouts to contact police on 131 444.”
Police have been trying to call and send him text messages.
Search now going for 24 hours
Police have been searching homes in Wallaroo and forensics officers are examining the area where Dohnt threatened to use his handgun yesterday.
They have asked the public to avoid the area.
Police described Dohnt as about 160 centimetres tall, with light brown hair and brown eyes.
Police said he was wearing black pants, a black windcheater with a white motif on the front, and a black cap.
Senior Constable Dave Muir said police did not believe he was injured when he was shot at yesterday afternoon.
“We are asking residents to make sure that they keep their properties secured, particularly those from overnight, and if anyone sees a man matching his description, don’t approach him and just call police on triple-0.”
Wallaroo resident Paul told ABC Radio Adelaide he saw the armed man run past him yesterday.
“We were working on my mate’s car in the driveway and then the guy ran straight past us with a gun in the hand and he jumped my back fence,” he said.
“We were dumbfounded. We didn’t say anything to him cause as soon as we seen the gun we thought ‘Better not say anything or he might shoot us’.”
Residents locked out of homes in Wallaroo
More than a dozen residents spent the night at Wallaroo Town Hall with the Salvation Army providing food.
Wallaroo resident Sue Smith lives in the lockdown zone and has not been able to get to her house for almost a day.
She said she was worried her pets may have fled.
“I’m just scared the police might barge into my house and, if my cats get out, because they’re purebred cats,” she said.
“I love them, they’re my sun and my life and that — [I’m] just scared, [I’ve] never been through this before ever.”
Bonnie Knibbs said she was not happy about the situation.
“But I guess when there’s stuff going on in the street you’ve got to do what you’re told,” she said.
Some residents have been able to leave the cordon to go to work this morning but others have been unable to return home.
Copper Coast Mayor Paul Thomas said local authorities told him moving residents out of the lockdown area “went like clockwork”.
He said some Wallaroo residents were moved into hotel accommodation.
“Our staff were able to accommodate to those who needed to be looked after throughout the evening, and then we located people to permanent hotel accommodation when it was known that they wouldn’t be coming home until today, and those that were safe to get back into the exclusion zone were allowed to do so,” Mr Thomas said.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has banned low-flying aircraft from within five kilometres of the Wallaroo town centre.
Police said a media helicopter was seen flying in breach of the air exclusion zone.
“If this is your helicopter, please desist and leave the area immediately,” a spokesman said in an email to the media.
July 17, 2018 07:13:56