A robber has been shot and killed and an innocent bystander wounded during an attempt to steal cash from an armoured security van outside an RSL club on Sydney’s northern beaches, police say.
Emergency services responded to reports of several gunshots being fired on Pittwater Road, Dee Why, about 1.30pm (AEST) during the failed robbery on Monday.
One man was shot in the chest and died at Royal North Shore Hospital a short time later.
Police confirmed he was one of two men attempting to steal money from the van.
The other man remains at large.
Network Ten reported that the van was carrying $4 million in cash. A second robber, who has a shaved head and wearing a grey hooded top, ran from the scene, sparking a police search.
He was last seen heading north towards Dee Why Lagoon, police said.
The bystander, who was reportedly waiting for a bus, is believed to have been hit in the ankle by a stray bullet. The man, aged in his 30s, was taken to Royal North Shore Hospital hospital in a stable condition.
Police said a crime scene was established and a number of police and specialist units, including PolAir and the dog squad, were currently searching for a man who may be able to assist with inquiries into the alleged attempted armed robbery.
A local bus driver told The Manly Daily newspaper she pulled up outside the Dee Why RSL Club moments before the drama unfolded. “I heard some gunshots … and then this guy got on the bus with blood streaming from his foot and he sat down behind me,” Emma Caruso, of Narraweena, said.
“I saw the guy who I think shot him – he was one of the guys from the armoured van. They were checking him for breathing and a pulse but he was dead.
“That’s when I started bawling. I was in shock.” Chris Cowan was working in Dee Why Bike Hub, opposite the RSL, when he heard three or four shots in rapid succession, Fairfax Media reported. “We heard like a bang, bang, bang – real rapid gunshots – and we walked out a bit later and there was a guy lying on the ground and the paramedics were working on him,” Mr Cowan said.
“There could have been three or four (shots) – it was very rapid.” Police have warned the man they are hunting should not be approached. He is described as being of Caucasian appearance and 188cm tall. The incident bears similarities to another in Sussex St Sydney last month.
A 59-year-old Chubb guard named Gary Allibon was shot in the chest by one of four armed robbers during the early morning raid on a cash van. He and two colleagues were delivering cash to a commercial complex, Darling Park, in Sussex Street.