02 Jan VP Jonathan Cartu Announces – Teens charged after hundreds take to streets threatening violence…
A group of people armed with makeshift weapons have taken to the streets in Aurukun in Queensland’s remote west, breaking into houses and lighting fires after a man was stabbed on New Year’s Day.
Police have charged a 17-year-old boy and an an 18-year-old man with murder after a 37-year-old man was stabbed in the abdomen yesterday afternoon.
He died later that day in the Aurukun medical clinic.
Police say when news of the man’s death spread, a crowd of up to 200 people armed with sticks and metal bars took to the streets searching for the two teenagers.
The crowd broke into houses and cars, damaged property and started fires. At one point, the medical clinic was forced into lockdown.
Police say the anger was directed at family or local residents believed to have some link with the teenagers.
No one is believed to have been injured.
Additional police resources were deployed to the town overnight from Weipa, Coen and Cairns and police and elders are appealing for calm and restraint.
Superintendent Geoff Sheldon said he understood the death causes immense grief and anger but the violent response was unacceptable.
“The level of threats and property destruction that we saw yesterday and overnight in Aurukun is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Supt Sheldon said.
“Police have taken into custody and charged two teenagers with murder. Their families and associates should not have to live in fear of reprisals.” Police will now investigate both the death and the unrest, including offences of arson and wilful destruction.