One of two police officers attacked and stabbed during a horrific sequence of events in South Australia’s Mid North has undergone surgery but remains in a critical condition.
- Police officers Ian Todd and Jordan Allely were stabbed at Crystal Brook
- Their attacker was shot dead and both officers were rushed to hospital
- One is in a critical but stable condition, while the other’s condition has been described as serious but stable
Brevet Sergeants Ian Todd and Jordan Allely were yesterday called to a Crystal Brook address on Symons Street, where they were stabbed by occupant Sean Ferris, who was then shot dead.
Sergeant Todd suffered injuries to his neck, arm and hands and was flown by helicopter to the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) where he remains in a critical but stable condition.
SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens told the ABC this morning that a neighbour had provided “absolutely” vital support to both officers in the immediate aftermath of the incident, and that Sergeant Todd had been “in surgery up until about 11:30pm last night”.
“Ian was critically injured in the incident, suffering life-threatening injuries,” he said.
“He was in surgery when I was with the family.
“He’s still got some way to go but the prognosis is more positive than it was yesterday, which is really pleasing for the family, but we’re just watching closely.”
The commissioner also visited Sergeant Allely in hospital, who is serious but stable and is “recovering well”.
“The injuries are not as significant as Ian’s but I don’t think anyone would have any trouble appreciating how traumatic this incident was and Jordan’s still got a lot to deal with,” Commissioner Stevens said.
Police Association president Mark Carroll said Sergeant Allely had received stab wounds “to his leg, his hand, his arm [and] his forehead”, and he expressed deep gratitude to the medical staff who had treated Sergeant Todd.
“We’re very thankful for the surgeons and the nurses at the Royal Adelaide Hospital who have shown great care and compassion, not just for Ian but for the family as well,” Mr Carroll told ABC Radio Adelaide.
“They never expected to be sitting around the ICU waiting for Ian to fight for his life.”
Commissioner Stevens said the families of both officers were receiving support, as were other officers who attended the incident, and he lauded the SA Ambulance Service member who was first on scene.
“I’m confident that that officer saved Ian’s life at the scene, and I can’t express my deep gratitude to that person enough,” he said.
“I met and spoke to him yesterday and he told me he was just doing his job. Well, I’m bloody grateful he was there to do it.”
Neighbour provided ‘critical support’
The commissioner also repeated his praise for a neighbour who came to the aid of both officers at the scene.
“[A] resident of the street, Symons Street in Crystal Brook, heard the incident and came out and rendered absolutely critical support to the police officers, and I can’t convey my gratitude to that person enough,” he said.
“The fact that they were prepared to step in in very uncertain circumstances, to potentially put their own life at risk, is testament to the type of community we have.”
Police have said the attack on the officers followed an altercation at a local supermarket between a member of the public and Mr Ferris “which was relatively minor in context, but there was a requirement for police to go and speak to him”.
“They did that yesterday morning and on arrival at his home address, the incident unfolded,” the commissioner said.
Major Crime detectives and SA Police’s forensic response and internal investigation teams remain at the scene this morning.
Police have praised the public response to the incident, saying there has been an outpouring of support for the force in a difficult time.
“It’s been felt throughout the state,” Senior Constable Jen Cullinan told ABC Radio Adelaide.
“People are coming up and thanking the police and going into police stations to thank them for their service.”
Mr Carroll said the incident had caused shock “not just here in South Australia” but across the country.
“The blue family puts their arms around each other when instances like this occur,” he said.
“We know what happened, that terrible tragedy in Queensland for Matthew Arnold and Rachel McCrow who were killed in December, so these things permeate right across the nation.
“We are thankful that Jordan’s going to be OK and we’re hopeful that we’ll get some better news about Ian this morning.”
Police Minister Joe Szakacs said he had spoken to the families of both officers to convey the South Australian public’s sympathies.
“The entire public of South Australia is with them, and the entire public of South Australia stands beside them as they navigate these very serious hours and days ahead of them,” he said.
Mr Szakacs commended paramedics who were called to what was “a very serious, high-risk” situation which has been “shocking for the whole state”.
“Their bravery in attending to the two seriously injured police was extraordinary,” he said.
Crystal Brook resident Teresa Bryant expressed shock and surprise at what had occurred.
“Absolutely everyone’s thoughts are with them [the officers], hopefully it’ll all be alright,” she said.
“I hope they both are going to be OK.”