A look at the shooting death of Policeman,William Crews at Bankstown


A look at the death of of a Policeman at Bankstown last night

TWO men have been charged with the fatal shooting of a police officer during

Slain policeman William Crews

a drug raid in Sydney last night.

A 55-year-old man has been charged with shooting with intent to murder and a 27-year-old man was charged with possessing an unauthorised firearm, the Daily Telegraph reports.

They were both refused bail and will appear in Bankstown Local Court today.

Six other men were interviewed and released pending further inquiries.

Constable William Crews, 26, an officer attached to the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad, died in hospital earlier this morning.

The officer was taking part in a search warrant relating to the sale of prohibited drugs when a number of shots were fired from an apartment block in Cairds Ave, Bankstown, just after 9pm.

The 26-year-old received gunshot wounds to the head and neck and suffered cardiac arrest at the scene, before being rushed to Liverpool Hospital in a critical condition.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, police wearing bulletproof vests patrolled the streets, telling residents to stay indoors as they tried to secure the unit block.

The shooting sparked a major police operation, with heavily armed officers swarming to the area, blocking off nearby streets as a police helicopter flew up ahead.

During the operation, which included members of the dog squad and police riot squad, eight people were arrested and were assisting police with inquiries this morning.

The arrests involved a siege situation with police negotiators called in to make sure everyone got out of the unit safely.

By 12.30am, the officers had finished a sweep of the area and Assistant Commissioner Frank Menelli said a critical incident team is now investigating after a “number of shots were discharged”, critically injuring the officer.

“There will be story of bravery to come out of this. I believe there were police and ambulance officers who treated him at the scene and got him out of there,” Mr Menelli said.

He could not say if police returned fire.

A witness who lives in Meredith St said that police told her the shooting happened “after a drug raid went wrong”.

When she asked if the officer was okay, he replied:

“I don’t think so.”

Another witness said dozens of police cars and the helicopter arrived within 20 minutes of the shooting and shut the whole area down.

“I had a big gathering at my house with more than a hundred people there,” the man said.

“Nobody heard a gunshot but when I came out on to the street the police officer ordered me to get away because a policeman had just been shot.”

The riot squad, armed with machineguns, went up the street to the apartment block just after 10pm.

Senior detectives arrived a short time later, including Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens and homicide squad boss Acting Superintendent Mick Sheehy.

Residents in nearby Cairds Ave, Carmen St, Reynolds Ave and parts of Meredith St – where the local police station is located – were ordered to stay indoors.

A resident said a police officer told her that someone was armed and that someone had been shot and residents should stay inside.

Hundreds of people huddled around the police tape at the scene, taking photos on their mobile phones before officers told them to evacuate the area.

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