An armed man has surrendered following a 2.5-hour standoff with police after the CBD of a central Queensland town went into lockdown.
Police negotiators were called following reports of an armed man firing shots into the air near a licensed premises at Mackay’s Gregory Street around 5.20pm on Wednesday.
No threats were made to any other person, and there were no reported injuries, police confirmed.
Detective Inspector Brendan Smith told reporters a 48-year-old Mackay man, who is known to police, was in possession of a number of firearms.
Police were negotiating with him in the middle of Gregory Street in the CBD until he “peacefully surrendered” about 8pm.
“He’ll be taken to hospital for an assessment and we will decide after that what the next steps will be,” Detective Inspector Smith told reporters.
“A number of shots were fired earlier in the day,” he said, adding it was possible opening fire into the air was part of the man’s plan to draw police into the city.
“No other person is at risk.”
Speaking with the media Wednesday evening, Detective Inspector Smith said police had been speaking to the man’s parents to glean a possible motive, and he was confident the matter would be resolved peacefully.
An emergency situation was declared just after 5.30pm, under the Public Safety Preservation Act, with a “declared zone” stretching through a significant part of the city.
This comprised the area from the intersection of River and MacCallister Streets, to the intersection of River and Wood Streets, and from Wood and Gordon Streets to Gordon and MacCallister Streets, Queensland Police confirmed in a statement.
Victoria Street was also blocked at Wood and MacCallister Streets.
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Police advised members of the public inside the zone to seek shelter in a secure place, and those outside the area were urged to avoid those streets until further notice.
“We ask the public not to come down to the CBD of Mackay,” Detective Inspector Smith said.
“We ask people who are inside the buildings for their patience at this stage.”