CHAOS descended on a Wagga property when heavily-armed police stormed on “Livingstone Gully” in the search for two of the nation’s most wanted men, after they opened fire at officers on Friday.
Belinda and Alan Cox knew nothing of the events that would unfold over the next 24 hours when their Cheviot Hills Road home became a police command point in the extensive hunt for two armed men about 4pm Friday.
“I suddenly looked up from the shed and saw five police approach with bulletproof vests and their hands on guns,” Mrs Cox said.
“It was immediately apparent we were facing something serious.”
Police cars, ambulances, air crews, dog squads and specialist officers from Sydney scoured dense bushland around the property for father and son Gino and Mark Stocco, who have been on Australia’s most wanted list for eight years.
The duo allegedly fired shots at police from a Nissan Navara after they tried to pull them over on a dirt lane off the Henty Road just after 2pm Friday.
Another shot was fired on Cheviot Hills Road after two high-speed police pursuits.
The Nissan Navara was found abandoned in Kyeamba Creek on Friday night, triggering police to advise nearby residents to leave their properties as the armed men were on on foot.
Wagga Superintendent Bob Noble warned the public the bandits were dangerous and would use violence to avoid apprehension.
The Nissan Navara was towed about 2.30pm Saturday and a crime scene was established.
While police seized a number of other items, the search was downsized more than 24 hours since the pair was last sighted by police about 4.30pm and the command point relocated back to Wagga police station.
Superintendent Noble said there were no signs to suggest the Stocco’s remained in the area – but the Cox’s are taking no chances.
“They could be anywhere,” Mrs Cox said.
“We’re just going to keep things locked for a while.”
She praised the tireless efforts of police for their “professionalism and courtesy”.
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