Man accused of shooting at police during South West Highway pursuit faces...

Man accused of shooting at police during South West Highway pursuit faces court

656
An appeal to locate Desmond Kirk was published by WA Police around 12.30pm on Thusday, January 11.

A man who allegedly shot at police during a wild, high-speed chase along the South Western Highway on Thursday has been remanded in custody until his next court appearance at the end of February.

Desmond Lee Kirk appeared by video link from Hakea Prison at the Armadale Magistrates Court on Monday.

He seemed sullen, and mumbled that he hadn’t yet spoken to anyone for legal advice.

It was his second appearance; his first on Friday was adjourned when Magistrate Brian Mahon expressed concern about Mr Kirk’s health when he was brought to court in a white hospital gown immediately after being discharged from Royal Perth Hospital for injuries he received during the pursuit.

The 36-year-old Welshpool man – who is believed to have bikie connections – was arrested when the 50km-long police pursuit ended in a dramatic crash. He was charged by the Gang Crime Squad with seventeen offences.

The pursuit started shortly after WA Police published an appeal for the public’s help to locate Mr Kirk around midday on Thursday (Jan 11).

The image of Desmond Kirk went viral after police labelled him ‘medium build’ in their alert

Just after 1pm, police allegedly spotted Mr Kirk driving a stolen Mazda BT-50 ute heading northbound on Albany Highway in Kelmscott.

The vehicle had been reported stolen earlier in the day from Byford.

Mr Kirk allegedly failed to stop when police turned their lights and sirens on.

Social media lit up as the Mazda BT-50 ute trailed by dozens of marked and unmarked police cars sped southwards along the South Western Highway to North Dandalup.

Police are alleging that during that time Mr Kirk pointed a long arm firearm out the window, firing it on three separate occasions.

Police are also alleging Mr Kirk was seen moving the firearm in the vehicle before firing a round of ammunition through the rear windscreen at pursuing police.

 

PolAir footage of the chase allegedly shows Mr Kirk abandoning the Mazda BT-50 in North Dandalup, waving the gun towards the PolAir aircraft, before stealing an Isuzu truck and continuing to evade police.

The footage shows Tactical Response officers intercepting the Isuzu truck shortly after, nudging the rear tray of the truck and causing it to spin out-of-control in a 180-degree turn before slamming into a fence.

Police then removed Mr Kirk from the vehicle, and arrested him.

He was taken to Royal Perth Hospital where he received medical treatment for minor injuries.

Afterwards, he was charged with: reckless driving to evade police; failure to comply with a direction to stop; attempting to cause grievous bodily harm; brandishing a weapon in an attempt to create fear; three counts of stealing a motor vehicle; trespass; stealing; driving on a suspended licence; possessing a gun and ammunition without a licence; and breaching a Violence Restraining Order (VRO).

Inquiries into this incident remain ongoing, and further charges may follow.