Female prison officer was subject of ‘targeted attack’
A QUEENSLAND jail has been placed on high alert after a female officer had a gun pointed at her by an ex-prisoner in what has been described as a "targeted attack" on staff at the facility.
Sources said armed officers were placed at the entry to both the Townsville Correctional Centre and the low-security Townsville Correctional Centre Farm after a female officer was threatened with a gun on Wednesday morning.
It is alleged at 6.50am a stolen white Mazda from Ayr with five males inside, drove into the men's jail carpark and completed a lap, before following the female officer out as she drove off.
She then pulled over at the Stuart State School, where the stolen Mazda pulled up parallel to her car, with a number of people covering their faces with shirts.
One of the males, an ex-prisoner, was sitting in the passenger seat when he rolled the window down and pointed a gun at her.
Another prisoner officer pulled up behind the Mazda, and after a few seconds the driver sped off.
The incident has been a major scare at the jail with a Queensland Corrective Services spokesperson confirming the jail has been placed in lockdown as a precautionary measure as a result of a "vehicle behaving suspiciously".
A Correctional Emergency Response Team, and two Dog Squad officers were deployed for patrols and it's understood this will continue pending information from the police.
"We have been co-ordinating with Queensland Police Service over the incident involving a number of people in a stolen vehicle allegedly threatening an officer as they left the centre," a QCS statement said.
"The officer has been provided with support and steps have been put in place to boost security in the vicinity of the centre."
A message to staff confirmed that it was a "targeted attack" on staff at the centre but not the female officer specifically.
"There is no information indicating this is a targeted event to any individual, it is certainly a targeted attack on us as a staff group," a message to staff read.
"QPS are applying significant resources toward apprehending these individuals.
"We are sending SMS to all off duty staff to advise they are to contact the centre prior to attending to ensure safe entry."
Originally published as Prison gun scare: Officer subject of 'targeted attack'