A witness has described the terror at a western Sydney hospital as a police officer, who was involved in the capture of notorious criminal Malcolm Naden, was shot and critically wounded.
The 38-year-old NSW senior constable was shot with his own gun and critically wounded at Nepean hospital in the confrontation on Tuesday night after a female doctor was allegedly threatened by a man with scissors.
A hospital guard also sustained a gun shot wound.
Media reports have named the officer as Luke Warburton, the handler of a police dog that helped capture Naden in 2012 in the Hunter Valley.
Mr Warburton’s wife is by his side.
He is in a serious but stable condition with a gun shot wound to his left thigh.
The security guard is stable after undergoing surgery for the wound to his calf.
Police say they responded to reports of a man threatening a doctor with scissors in Penrith just before 10.30pm on Tuesday.
A 39-year-old man was arrested and has now been charged by police, as a critical incident team investigate the incident.
The man, who earlier in the night had been charged over a break-and-enter and released on bail, was at Nepean Hospital receiving medical treatment, Acting Commissioner Catherine Burn said.
He is set to face Penrith Local Court on Wednesday charged with shooting with intent to murder; discharging a firearm with intent to resist arrest; and detaining for advantage.
“My thoughts are definitely with the officer. He has a number of his colleagues at the hospital who are all waiting anxiously,” Ms Burn told reporters outside the hospital.
The health service says the incident shows the urgent need for hospital security guards to have the power to restrain and detain people.
“We see now with ice and alcohol-fuelled violence emergency departments are becoming more and more like battlegrounds than actually areas of care,” HSU secretary Gerard Hayes said at Nepean Hospital on Wednesday.
Witness Jodie Bennett, who was in the emergency ward of the hospital with her eight-year-old son, praised the nursing staff for their actions.
“I heard a woman screaming, quite hysterically. I understand that there was a man holding scissors to her neck. And then following that, there were some gunshots. What I saw was blood. Lots of blood on the floor,” Ms Bennett told ABC TV on Wednesday.
“The response was excellent. The nursing staff were brilliant. They were very quick to act.
Ms Burn said Mr Warburton was in the intensive care unit after undergoing surgery.
“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.”