Gunman opens fire on police car, forcing officers to hide in Sunbury McDonald’s

Published by the Herald Sun on August 13.

Police were targeted by gunmen who fired shots at their car in Sunbury overnight before the officers were forced to flee for their lives into a nearby McDonald’s, the police union says.

Bullets were fired at the police car in Horne St, Sunbury at 3.15am, with the officers driving to a nearby McDonald’s and seeking cover inside.

While the officers were inside the restaurant, further shots were fired at their car before it was rammed by a silver sedan. The car then sped off from the scene.

The police officers involved are said to be “doing very well” this morning with no physical injuries.

A series of shot gun pellet holes can be seen on a police divisional van parked in the McDonald’s carpark this morning. A window on the vehicle is also smashed.

Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt described the shocking incident as “incredible”.

Mr Gatt went to Sunbury after the shooting to speak to members involved — three male officers and a female.

He said the incident was of “deep concern” because the members appeared to have been targeted simply for their blue uniform.

“It’s instigated by them (the shooters), there appears to be no reason apart from them being police officers,” Mr Gatt said.

“They’ve been targeted simply because of the uniform they wear.”

Police swarmed the area in a massive search for the car and to escort three McDonald’s staff and four police members from the restaurant.

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said the terrifying incident unfolded during routine patrolling.

“When our members became aware they were under fire, they found hard cover, as is their training,” he said.

He said the behaviour was “outrageous”.

“We are just appalled this behaviour occurs in our community,” Mr Cornelius said. “This is outrageous conduct.

“You can expect police will respond to it fully. Our police are here to keep the community safe.”

Police believe a yet-to-be-found shotgun was used.

Mr Gatt said the members had been offered and provided with welfare support after the harrowing ordeal.

“They’re clearly in the early hours post-incident,” he said. “They’re getting their heads around this.

“One minute, they’re serving the community — the next minute, they’re victims of random violence. That’s hard to process.”

Three men — a 33-year-old of no fixed address, a 26-year-old and an 18-year-old from Sunbury — have been arrested and are currently assisting officers with their inquiries.

Police are not searching for anybody else.

Mr Cornelius said the circumstances of the shooting were still being investigated.

MACCA’S WORKERS’ TERRIFYING ORDEAL

Sunbury McDonald’s is cordoned off while forensic police comb the scene for clues.

They are focusing on the carpark and a series of evidence markers are in place.

A McDonald’s worker in the store at the time of the shooting has posted to social media about the late night ordeal.

“I was on shift in Macca’s when it happened,” the employee’s Facebook post said.

“There were shots fired extremely close to the store towards a passing police car.

“We hid away and took lockdown in the store.

“The gunman never even attempted to enter the building but did go into the car park meaning Macca’s is currently closed.

“We were evacuated and after everything, me and the two other workers as well as all of the police that were there are okay and safely home now.”

McDonald’s Sunbury workers have been told by managers not to come into work.

“No one come into work until further notice,” staff were told in a message.

“Until further notice there is an active police investigation, no one is allowed in the store.

“Please stay home until further notice.”

COP INJURED IN MONT ALBERT RAMMING

It was not the only incident where police were targeted this morning.

An officer was struck by an allegedly stolen car in Mont Albert at 1am.

It happened after officers responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle in Laing St.

Police spotted a white BMW sedan on the street before it reversed into Victoria Crescent, drove forward and smashed into two police cars.

The car was boxed in by another police vehicle.

As officers approached the BMW and used OC spray on the driver, the vehicle reversed again striking a male Leading Senior Constable in the leg before driving off.

The officer was taken to hospital for treatment.

Mr Cornelius, speaking about the Mont Albert incident, said police rammings had become “a very worrying trend”.

“We are very concerned about our members, the safety of our members who put themselves in harm’s way to keep the community safe,” he said.

“We don’t go to work expecting people will be lining our members up in their sights.”

He said a wide-scale police operation was underway to catch the driver responsible.