MISSING GUN: Divers scour river for clues in shooting case

UPDATE 11.35am: AFTER an hour of searching the floor of the Wilsons River in Lismore, police divers have uncovered six mountain bikes and two shopping trolleys, but so far, no gun.

Chief Insp Nicole Bruce said the divers travelled from Sydney to help in the search for the weapon used in Monday night's shooting in Dawson Street.

She said they were searching an area under the Ballina Street Bridge where they suspected the gun may be, but divers would assess the situation as the day progresses.

"NSW Police Dive Squad are searching the area under this bridge, hopefully looking for the firearm that we are trying to locate.

"At this stage, this is just a guess of where the firearm may be, so we'll leave it up to their determination (how long they keep searching) as to how they are progressing through the day."

Currently divers secured by lifelines are approximately 10m out from the east side of the river bank, descending to 5m.

It is understood the divers can see less than 30cm in the fresh water river.

As the divers continue their search of the river, detectives are checking CCTV from nearby businesses to see if any vision from Monday night can assist them. 

The Lismore SES have been deployed by police to stop any rover traffic as they continue their search for a gun.
 

 

UPDATE, 9.30am: POLICE divers searching for a gun in the Wilson River are unable to use sonar or metal detectors due to submerged rubbish.

Sgt Steve Wye said the gun was too small to be located by sonar.

"We can't use a metal detector as there too much rubbish such as shopping trolleys in the river, he said.

Murky conditions for police divers : Difficult conditions are facing specialist officers as they search for a missing gun in the Wilsons River at Lismore.
Murky conditions for police divers : Difficult conditions are facing specialist officers as they search for a missing gun in the Wilsons River at Lismore.

"As visibility is so bad divers will do an arc search whereby they cover a one metre sweep and then move forward another metre for the next sweep."

The divers are supported by Lismore SES who are operating their boat as the divers are on a line rather than using oxygen cylinders.

Lismore SES deputy controller Neil Coulter said  the unit has assisted police at similar incidents before.

SES crews and police are conducting a search of the Wilsons River at Lismore to look for a gun used in a shooting.
SES crews and police are conducting a search of the Wilsons River at Lismore to look for a gun used in a shooting. Marc Stapelberg

 

Original story: SPECIALIST police divers will search the Wilsons River in Lismore in attempt to locate the firearm used in a shooting on Monday night.

Richmond Police District Chief Inspector Nicole Bruce said the divers would be arriving this morning.

She said the police divers will be supported by local detectives in an effort to solve the case where a man, 22, was shot in the head in Lismore.

He subsequently underwent brain surgery to remove the bullet and remains in a critical condition at Gold Coast University Hospital.

"We understand the gun to be a shortened firearm, which is an illegal weapon," she said.

Police search for gun: Specialist police divers and SES are conducting a search for a gun that was used in a shooting in Lismore on Monday.
Police search for gun: Specialist police divers and SES are conducting a search for a gun that was used in a shooting in Lismore on Monday.

"Police have a location where we estimate the firearm may have been disposed of in the river.

"Yesterday police undertook a land search for the weapon in Lismore which was unsuccessful."

Chief Insp Bruce said the recovery of the firearm involved in the incident was vital to understanding how the man was injured.

"It is possible that fingerprints and other forensic data could be retrieved from the weapon when it is located," she said.

SES crews and police are conducting a search of the Wilsons River at Lismore to look for a gun used in a shooting.
SES crews and police are conducting a search of the Wilsons River at Lismore to look for a gun used in a shooting. Marc Stapelberg

"We have received some positive assistance from the public and urge anyone with information to come forward.

"If anyone should locate this or a any other weapon, please leave the firearm undisturbed and contact police immediately."

Meanwhile, a man who was at the property when the shooting occurred has been arrested on an unrelated matter.

"A man has been charged with breach of bail for an unrelated offence as he was out past his curfew," Chief Insp Bruce said.