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Police to face scrutiny following siege near Lithgow that left one dead

July 17, 2023

A photo from the siege. Copyright: 2LT.

By Peter Holmes

It began with reports of a couple fighting at a property early on Sunday (July 16, 2023) afternoon, and ended with the discovery of a deceased male on Monday morning.

Police attending a home in Bowenfels near Lithgow at 12:15pm Sunday had been told a man was in possession of a firearm.

"Concerns were raised for his welfare," police said. "On arrival, officers spoke briefly with the pair from a distance before they went inside, locked the doors, and refused to come out."

A perimeter was established, and assistance was requested from specialist resources, including police negotiators and the Tactical Operations Unit (TOU).

Roads were closed during the incident. Copyright: 2LT.

"About 4.20pm, a number of shots were fired from the home in the direction of police, with police returning fire," police allege. "No one was injured during the exchange."

Police said that negotiations with the pair continued overnight Sunday into Monday. "They refused to come outside," police said.

Just before 8.50am today (Monday July 17, 2023), "the 20-year-old woman came out of the property and provided information to officers at the scene", police said.

"A short time later, police gained entry to the home and located the body of the man. It is reported that he had sustained a gunshot wound, which is suspected to be self-inflicted."

The man has not been formally identified, but police said it is believed he is aged 29.

"The woman is continuing to assist police with inquiries," police said.

An investigation has commenced into all circumstances relating to the incident by a Critical Incident Investigation Team from Orana Mid Western Police District.

"Those investigations will be subject to an independent review, including by the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission," police said.

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