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A South Australian police officer has died after being shot during a violent confrontation on the Victorian-South Australian border.
Brevet Sergeant Jason Doig and colleagues Michael Hutchinson and Rebekah Cass went to a property in rural Senior near the Victorian border about 11.20pm on Thursday to investigate an incident involving the use of a firearm and an animal.
They were confronted by an armed man and Sgt Doig, 53, was shot.
His colleagues and paramedics attempted to save the police force member of 34 years but he died at the scene.
Sgt Hutchinson, 59, was also shot and taken to Adelaide for treatment. Constable Cass, 31, was uninjured.
The male suspect, 26, was shot by police and sustained serious life-threatening injuries.
He was treated at the scene before being flown to an Adelaide hospital where he remains under police guard.
“This is a devastating day for South Australian Police,” Commissioner Grant Stevens told reporters on Friday.
“This is a tragic event that will have wide-ranging effects not just for police but people who rely on police for the safety and security they enjoy in our community.”
Mr Stevens said there was no indication the officers were going into a high-risk situation.
A SA police officer was shot dead near the Victorian border.Credit: Nine News
The full circumstances of the incident will be the focus of a commissioner’s inquiry, with investigators still at the scene on Friday.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton flew to visit Doig’s mother and brother on Friday as both reside in far western Victoria.
“Our officers will continue to support our cross-border colleagues and those impacted by this incident wherever possible,” a Victoria Police spokesperson said in a statement.
“Our thoughts are with the families, friends and broader community at this time.”
The policing family is “in shock, in pain and in grief” after losing a brother, the Police Association of South Australia said.
“Today, the collective heart of the nation’s police is broken and, right now, it feels broken beyond repair,” president Mark Carroll said.
“This horror is what all of us in policing live in fear of – it is our dread, that one of us or one of our workmates has his or her life taken.
“I make crystal clear our intention, as police and as a union, not to allow Jason or his family to be cheated of a scintilla of the justice they’re determined to be owed.”
Mr Stevens said officer safety was paramount and police are provided with the right tools, equipment and training to do their job as safely as possible.
“But you cannot get past the reality that police are often involved in dealing with violent offenders,” he said.
Sgt Doig was officer in charge of Lucindale Police Station – a “highly respected” career officer who had served in the force since 1989.
The last SA police officer killed on duty was Senior Constable Bogdan Sobczak, a motorcycle officer who died in a road crash in 2002.
Police Minister Joe Szakacs said Sgt Doig had lost his life through a “heinous act of violence”.
“This is unthinkable, tragic and shocking,” he posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Premier Peter Malinauskas said it was “an unimagininable tragedy”.
Foreign Minister and SA Senator Penny Wong said her thoughts were with the slain officer’s loved ones and the police community.
Federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, a former Queensland police officer, said the community should stop and pause to say thank you to police officers for the work they do.
AAP with Lachlan Abbott
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