Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Safe as Houses - being shot at.
Yesterday I disembark my City-Loop bound train for a Flinders Street direct service. Three minutes? No problem. but when is three minutes not three minutes? When you're waiting for Public Transport. Some ten minutes elapse before I am greeted by the following announcement:
"Due to a Police Operation all services to and from the City via Richmond Station have been suspended until further notice."
WTF? Is it war? Has Carlzilla raised from his brass encrusted tomb to wreak terror on Melbourne this crisp foggy day?
I walk down to Swan St to attempt a tram into town, but no dice. All tram and light rail services through Richmond are suspended as well. Spooky.
So I decide to walk into town.
Swan Street is blocked to vehicular traffic by a couple of police cars, but not one approached me as I walked past towards the river. I stalled a little as I reached Hisense Arena (directly opposite the new stadium) as there were not only multiple police cars (complete with armed officers looking on nervously), but also OB news vans complete with well suited newsreporters from all major networks. I walk on, pass them all, and continue towards the river.
It was a lovely day. The dense fog that shrouded the Olympic Park Precinct hiding the throbbing chop of the police helicopters from view lifted almost as soon as I reached the Yarra. The sun's reflection spectacular off the gold post-it note atop the Eureka Tower.
So I make it in to school here to look up the interwebs to see what was going on earlier - all those police.
There was an ARMED GUNMAN (I know, saying armed gunman is a lot like saying 'work colleague') running loose around the area I had just walked through. This was deemed serious enough to suspend all rail and tram services through the area, enough to lock down workers at the site of the new stadium and Melbourne Park redevelopment. It was considered threat enough to prevent Melbourne Victory staff from leaving their offices for a cafe latte. It required that through traffic was diverted in all directions away from the scene of the siege. However it wasn't deemed a serious enough threat for EVEN ONE COP TO STOP ME AND TELL ME TO BE CAREFUL - AS THERE WAS A GUNMAN ABOUT!!
So, thanks to Victoria Police I am sat here safe and well. No bullet holes, no internal injuries. I'm fine. Thanks for asking.