Tragedy in Wangaratta TweetFacebookMORE GALLERIES
facebookSHAREtwitterTWEETemailwhatsapp6.45pm UPDATE:Two people have been found dead inside a Wangaratta home after an apparent murder suicide.
Police entered the Belle Avenue home about 5.10pm and found the pair dead inside after a shooting.
Homicide Squad detectives are heading to the area, but are not seeking anyone else over the deaths.
EARLIER: Police have “grave fears” for a woman they believe is trapped inside a Wangaratta house with a man armed with a high-powered rifle.
Multiple shots were fired inside a Belle Avenue home about 12.50pm Tuesday.
Superintendent Paul O’Halloran said a witness saw a man with the rifle and telescopic lens chasing a woman, which was concerning.
The pair, believed to be in a relationship, ran into the house next door, while their four primary school-aged children were able to escape to another neighbour’s property.
The children were safe with police in the afternoon.
“We don’t believe there’s a gunman on the loose, we believed it’s contained to those properties,” Superintendent O’Halloran said.
“At the moment we’ve got the area contained, we’re attempting to make contact with the male and female who are missing, but we’ve been unable to at this stage,” he said.
“I’ve got grave fears at this stage, but I’m unable to confirm what the condition of any party is within that property.”
Superintendent O’Halloran said police were keen to resolve the matter, but had to carefully work their way through the situation to keep everyone safe.
“We’ve got specialist negotiators on scene … it’s about having the right police on scene to make tactical decisions,” he said.
“We have asked that people from neighbouring properties remain in their properties at this time.”
A police helicopter landed at the Appin Park athletics ground about 4.30pm, bringing in special operations group officers, who – armed with machine guns – inspected properties backing onto the Belle Avenue house.
Those who spoke to The Border Mail said they assumed the noise of gunshots was just children playing with crackers on Anzac Day until they saw police cars rush to the area.
The blocked off area was next to the Appin Park athletics track, frequently used by young children.
One mother and her son quickly turned around when they were told of the man on the loose with a rifle.
Police said they had received reports of shots being fired before 1pm.
“Police are responding to an incident in Belle Avenue, Wangaratta after receiving reports a firearm was discharged around 12.50pm,” a statement said.
“Police have cordoned off the area around Belle Avenue and are asking residents in Belle, Irwin and Garnet Avenues and Appin Street to remain inside their premises.”
They said they would provide updates.