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Breakthrough after 20 years as man charged with shooting officer

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A man has been charged with two counts of attempted murder and armed robbery in a major breakthrough in the case of Queensland’s oldest unsolved police shooting.

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A 49-year-old Brisbane man has been arrested over the shooting of Senior Constable Neill Scutts during a bank robbery in Logan in 1999.

He is due to face Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Police allege two men forced entry to the bank on March 24, 1999, before holding staff and customers at gunpoint.

Two police officers responded and within moments Sen Const Scutts was shot, sustaining a serious wound to his groin.

His firearm, a Sturm Ruger .357 six-shot revolver, was allegedly stolen and is yet to be recovered.

The offenders – who wore off-white plastic masks, surgical style gloves and carried two-way radios – fled on foot allegedly taking two staff members as hostages before stealing a vehicle at gunpoint.

The man arrested by police on Tuesday has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, three counts of armed robbery with actual violence whilst armed, seven counts of deprivation of liberty and one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

The development comes after police last month doubled the reward to $500,000 for information leading to arrests in the case.

The reward remains on offer with officers encouraging anyone with information who is yet to speak to police to come forward.

“The dedicated investigative team have worked tirelessly on this case and while there is still a lot of work to do, the arrest is certainly a major milestone in the investigative process,” Detective Inspector Tod Reid said.

Sen Const Scutts broke down last month describing how he was shot without warning after being called to the National Australia Bank branch in the suburb of Browns Plains that morning.

“This has had a dramatic impact on my family at the time. Thankfully my two young girls weren’t around at the time, but it did impact the rest of my extended family,” he told reporters.

Sen Const Scutts underwent emergency surgery when it was discovered the bullet had missed major arteries by millimetres.

“It could have easily been one of the hostages at the time,” he said.

“In a way, I’m grateful it was me, not the hostages.

“However, I would have preferred it wasn’t me for obvious reasons.”

-AAP

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