The South East is reeling after a Lucindale police officer was gunned down and killed in a domestic incident in the region late last week.
The shooting occurred north of Bordertown late on Thursday night, when Brevet Sergeant Jason Doig, 53, sustained fatal gunshots and died at the scene, while a second police officer from Bordertown, Sergeant Michael Hutchinson, 59, sustained non-life threatening gunshot wounds and was transported to Adelaide for treatment.
A third police officer also from Bordertown, 31-year-old Constable Rebekah Cass, was not physically injured and rendered assistance to the injured officers and the suspect.
The occupant of the address, a 26-year-old man was also shot by police and sustained serious life-threatening injuries.
He was treated at the scene and has been flown to Adelaide where he remains under police guard.
The incident unfolded about 11.20pm on Thursday when the officers attended a property on Senior Road, north of Bordertown near the Victorian border, to investigate an earlier incident.
Attending police were confronted by an armed suspect, who opened fire on the trio, with catastrophic consequences.
The shooting has attracted nation-wide attention, with media crews converging on the region.
Flags across the state have been flown at half-mast, while floral tributes have been laid at the Lucindale Police Station, which remains closed in the wake of the tragedy.
Landmarks around the state were last night lit up in blue lights to honour the fallen member.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said it was a “devastating loss and our condolences are with the officer’s family, friends and colleagues during this extremely difficult time”.
“No one goes to work expecting not to return home and this is a very sad day for South Australia Police,” he said.
“It’s difficult to appreciate the impact an incident like this has on Jason’s immediate work colleagues and the wider police family including those across Australia.
“I would like to pay tribute to all police and first responders who assisted at the scene and are continuing to respond this morning.”
Member for MacKillop Nick McBride issued a statement following the incident, describing it as “an absolute tragedy”.
“I knew Jason personally – he was a well-respected and diligent police officer who had been based in Lucindale for many years,” Mr McBride said.
“Jason was heavily involved in the community and known by so many for his commitment to his profession.
He wore his uniform with pride.
I know locals in Lucindale will be both very shocked and upset to hear this news.”
“This incident will have a huge impact on the entire South East.
Police officers in regional areas build close relationships with a wide cross section of the community, due simply to the nature of their role policing across many townships.
“I also know the events that unfolded at Senior will have heavily impacted Constable Rebekah Cass who was also at the scene.
My thoughts go out to her and her SAPOL colleagues at this extremely difficult time.
“Many people will require support following this tragedy and I urge anyone who needs assistance in their grief to reach out and seek help if required.
“No one goes to work expecting not to come home.
My thoughts are with the families of all involved.”
Major Crime Detectives, Forensic Response Section and Internal Investigation Section have attended the scene.
The last police officer to be killed on duty was Senior Constable Bogdan (Bob) Sobczak, a motorcycle officer who was killed in a road crash in 2002.
The family of the late Mr Doig have accepted a State Government offer of a Police Funeral to honour his life and service to the South Australian community.
In another tragedy in the region, police are investigating a double fatal crash that occurred at Willalooka on Saturday.
Emergency services were called to the intersection of Riddoch Highway and McGrice Road just north of Willalooka after reports a Toyota and a Ford collided about 9.40am.
Two people in the Ford, a 77-year-old male driver and a 65-year-old woman, both from Victoria, died at the scene.
The driver of the Toyota, a 21-year-old Padthaway man, was taken to the Mount Gambier Hospital with serious injuries.
Yesterday Major Crash officers arrested the Padthaway man and charged him with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
He was granted bail to appear in Naracoorte Magistrates Court on January 24.