A 17-hour siege between two people barricaded in a Trevallyn home turned into a rescue operation in the final moments.
More than 40 shots were fired from 33 New World Avenue from the time the stand-off started about 4.30pm Friday, to when Special Operations Groups officers stormed the premises about 9.45am.
A 24-year old man and a 40-year-old woman were taken into police custody shortly after. As of Saturday evening, no charges had been laid.
No one was injured in the stand-off.
Following ongoing negotiations, Northern District Commander Brett Smith said police were led to believe the life of the woman inside the house was in imminent danger.
“I can indicate that the situation changed to becoming what we strongly believed to be a hostage siege situation,” Commander Smith said.
“As a consequence of that the situation did escalate to where we felt that the woman’s life was in grave danger.
“Tasmania Police put in place a tactical resolution strategy to rescue the woman, we felt whose life was in imminent danger.”
Police were called to the Trevallyn property in response to reports of a person jumping from yard to yard, near the residence.
Armed vehicles and Special Operations Group officers including armoured vehicles and the BearCat descended on the normally quiet suburban street about 7pm.
The man and woman had already barricaded themselves inside the house.
Commander Smith said the man was armed with a small calibre weapon.
Negotiations between police and the pair continued throughout the night, with a total of 33 shots fired from the house between 4.30pm and 7.30am.
During the stand-off one police vehicle had its window shattered by a possible stray bullet.
Residents in the area reported hearing at least eight more shots around 9.45am, followed by a “large bang”.
Commander Smith said no shots were fired by police during the stand-off or when police entered the house.
“I won’t go into the actual tactical details of the resolution options, they are a matter for us,” he said.
“But I can indicate that the loud noises were part of the tactical resolution.
“There were no shots fired, but there was some resistance provided by the male, but that resistance was overcome relatively quickly with minimal injury.”
The woman and the man in the house are known to each other, but police were unable to confirm their relationship.
The house was the same address where a 47-year-old woman was shot in the leg about 6pm on Wednesday.
Commander Smith would not confirm if the incident was linked to the armed hold-up of the Wellington Street BP service station on Thursday, but said it and a range of other outstanding measures would form a line of inquiry for inspectors.
A number of police remained on the scene for most of Saturday.
Commander Smith thanked the community for its cooperation throughout the incident.
“I would particularly like to thank the residents of Trevallyn and New World Avenue and Reatta Road for their patience and persistence,” he said.
“We understand that it has been frustrating for them.
“We are hoping to have the area back to normal very shortly, one we have conducted our investigations.”
Police investigations into the incident are continuing.
Neighbours share their stories
About 14 residents were evacuated from the area during the stand-off, however many chose to stay.
Tzue Yeng, Janice Wu and their two young children live two houses down from the 33 New World Avenue.
Mr Yeng said after first hearing the gunshots on Friday afternoon, they knew something “wasn’t quite right”.
After being advised by police to remain inside and to stay away from the windows, Ms Wu said it was just a matter of waiting.
“The police were in our front garden,” she said.
“At a certain point it did feel unsafe, but knowing the police were there and the presence they had on the entire street, we started to feel safer.
“The kids didn’t have any idea of what was happening, which I am grateful for.”
About 200 metres away on Coulter Street, adjoining New World Avenue, Paul Lanham said he thought his windows were going to smash when a loud bang resonated throughout the area on Saturday morning.
Having lived on the street for six years, Mr Lanham said he had never heard or seen anything like it as police made their move into the house.
Mr Lanham described hearing what he believed to be a quick succession of gunshots.
“Then a huge explosion. I was sitting in my living room and I thought my windows were going to smash,” he said.
“I could hear this woman wailing, and I though for sure they would be finding a body in there.”
Mr Lanham said he was home on Friday afternoon when the police and what looked like a “military procession” arrived on his street.
Despite the scene he said he never felt unsafe and praised the police and Special Operations Group for their efforts.
“They did such a great job,” he said.
“I think they had control of the situation the whole time.
“It was an incredible thing to watch unfold.”
Across the street from Mr Lanham, resident Marika Rose said she returned home with her two daughters on Friday afternoon and was “blown away” by the number of police in the area.
“We heard the shots on Monday and we couldn’t believe it,” she said.
“You just don’t expect something like that in Trevallyn.
“When we came home on Friday we couldn’t believe it had happened again.
“There was a policeman standing on the corner, and pretty quickly there would have been 10 cars there all filled with cops.
“We couldn’t believe what we were seeing really.”
Despite what unfolded, Ms Rose said she never feared for the safety of her family, praising the actions of all the police involved.
“The police were in constant communication with all of us,” she said.
“We didn’t get much sleep on Friday night, but we felt safe.
“I can’t speak highly enough of how the police have handled this.”