High alert as fugitive threatens to shoot cops
Police have been put on high alert after receiving word a man who sent parts of the Gold Coast into lockdown on Tuesday was planning to go to a police station at 10am today to shoot officers.
Mark Robert Lutgenau, 37, was yesterday believed to be armed with a gun, prompting heavily armed, highly trained specialist police to search bushland on the Gold Coast, while Ormeau State School was forced into lockdown.
The emergency response came after police claimed a domestic violence incident had taken place on the evening of Monday, March 15 at Upper Coomera.
The Courier-Mail understands all Gold Coast stations are in lockdown with members of the public only allowed in via buzzer while the 'Be Alert' status is active.
An internal memo sent to police this morning states the Queensland Police Security Alert Level has been raised to 'be alert' following information received that Mark Robert Lutgenau had made the threats.
"OIC's/Managers are to immediately make their staff aware of the change …," the memo reads.
"Police employees are reminded to maintain vigilance, situational awareness and avoid complacency.
"Ensure you are prepared for an attack by adopting the appropriate level of awareness/posture commensurate with the security alert level."
In another alert, police allege Lutgenau wrote on social media "I have nothing let in my life and will be in a shootout with police."
The police alert then states anonymous information was received claiming that Lutgenau had said he was going to take it to the police. If I can't get to talk to my kids, I will walk into a Police Station at 1000 hrs on 17-3-2021 and start shooting."
Overnight, the Gold Coast father took to Facebook to defend himself over the incident.
"I haven't put a hand on her," he wrote in a thread on the QPS Facebook page that named him as the alleged fugitive.
Lutgenau's comments come despite police pleading with the alleged gunman to give himself up, as they call for calm.
"We want a peaceful resolution for his own personal safety and the safety of the public," Acting Inspector Kevin Gant said yesterday.
"Speak to police and assist us," he said.
The appeal also prompted Lutgenau's mother to reach out to her son online, taking to the QPS Facebook page to remind her son she loves him, writing: "Mark, it's mum here. I'm here for you. Tell me where you are. I will pick you up. Love mum xxx."
Urged to hand himself in by members of the public, Lutgenau yesterday responded: "When they let me speak to my kids."
Many came out in support of the father, including one of his mates, who wrote: "Love ya mate. Doors (sic) open for you, you know where I live."
While another Facebook user commented: "Mate, what do you think this is doing to your kids? They're probably terrified, they need you. I obviously don't know your situation, but your kids are important. Don't let them hurt more if you get hurt during all of this. If something happens to you from all of this, they will be shattered forever. Don't do that to them. Please."
Police today continue to search for the fugitive, after an emergency declaration was made yesterday, leaving locals stranded on the side of the road and school parents fearing for the safety of their children.
One mum told The Courier-Mail the situation had been "a bit tense," while another wrote about the anxiety the drama had caused her.
"It's strange I feel like I know he is safe at school, as they have practiced lockdowns last year but my heart is still in my throat waiting for each update," mother Aemelia Smith said.
Ormeau State School deputy principal Ben Manthey and police were also forced to check inside parents' cars one by one so they could collect their children.
The emergency declaration had been made at 11.50am under the Public Safety Preservation Act (PSPA) due to the ongoing incident, however was revoked about 3.50pm.
A police statement issued last night urged anyone who sights Lutgenau to call triple zero immediately, however stated there is "no known specific threat against members of the community."
"Mark is described as Caucasian, around 190cm tall and of a proportionate build. He has short brown hair and hazel eyes," the QPS issued statement said.
"Anyone who sees Mark is urged to call Triple Zero (000) immediately. Members of the public are advised not to approach him for any reason.
"Residents and business owners are asked to be vigilant of any suspicious activity or unknown people in the area and immediately contact police.
"Police are also appealing for Mark to contact them."
Originally published as 'Nothing left ...': High alert as fugitive threatens to shoot cops