The police officer shot and critically wounded at a Sydney hospital is reportedly the handler of the dog that helped capture one of Australia’s most wanted men, Malcolm Naden.
Media reports have named the officer as Luke Warburton. He was the handler of police dog Chuck.
In 2012, Chuck brought Naden to heel, biting the murderer on the arm as he emerged from his Hunter Valley hideaway in the dead of night.
Mr Warburton is in a critical but stable condition, after he and a security guard were shot during a scuffle with a man at Nepean Hospital in Sydney’s west.
Police say they responded to reports of a man threatening a doctor with scissors in Penrith just before 10.30pm on Tuesday.
Following a scuffle, the man grabbed the police officer’s gun and both the policeman and security guard subsequently suffered gunshot wounds to the leg.
Mr Warburton, shot in the left thigh, is in a ‘critical but stable condition’ according to NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn, while the security guard is stable, after being shot in the calf.
‘My thoughts are definitely with the officer. He has a number of his colleagues at the hospital who are all waiting anxiously,’ she told reporters outside the hospital.
‘We hope that the officer pulls through very, very quickly. For everybody involved this is a very traumatic situation. And my thoughts are with the doctor as well at the moment.’
Ms Burn said the incident was not terror related.
‘In these issues, obviously when police are fired on, people’s attentions turn to matters of terrorism and so forth, although police are quick to point out that isn’t the case here,” she said.
‘They are looking at other issues in play in this story. I will have more details on this as the morning continues.’
A police critical incident team will investigate the incident.
The 39-year-old man has been arrested and is being questioned by police.