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Officer in induced coma after stabbing attack

Police officers stabbed after house call turns violent

A South Australian police officer remains in an induced coma after being stabbed following a call-out reportedly sparked by complaints about a resident’s dog.

Sergeant Ian Todd, 53, suffered critical wounds to his neck, arms and hands and was in surgery until late on Wednesday after the incident in the small town of Crystal Brook.

The man involved in the stabbing, identified in media reports as Sean Ferris, was shot dead after he attacked Sergeant Todd and fellow officer Sergeant Jordan Allely, 32, who received serious wounds to his right leg and arm.

Police Commissioner Grant Steven said on Thursday Sergeant Allely was recovering well and he had been able to speak with the officer in hospital.

“Jordan Allely, who is the officer in charge of Crystal Brook, he was moved to a ward at about 8 o’clock and is doing reasonably well,” Mr Stevens told Adelaide radio FIVEaa.

“Obviously there’s a lot of trauma that’s involved with an incident like this, notwithstanding the physical injuries.

“Ian Todd, who is the officer in charge of Port Germain, who was with Jordan, was in surgery until about 11.30 last night.

“As we said yesterday, he suffered life-threatening injuries.

“The outcome of the surgery is reasonably positive. He’s not out of the woods yet but I think we’re feeling a lot better about his condition today then we were yesterday.”

Both officers were flown to the Royal Adelaide Hospital for treatment after the attack.

Mr Stevens said the two officers were at the Symons Street property following a “pretty minor incident” at the local shopping centre the previous day, reported to have involved a complaint about the man’s husky.

“I think it really indicates just how uncertain the policing role is in the community,” he said.

“These two officers didn’t start work on Wednesday morning expecting they’d be involved in this confrontation.”

Police have not said if Mr Ferris was known to investigators before the attack. His body was found at the scene by the officers who first responded to the sergeants’ calls for help.

SA Police Association president Mark Carroll said it was too early to know exactly what led to the attack but it appeared Sergeant Allely had gone to help Sergeant Todd and probably saved his life.

“We know that officers went to the house because of a minor, benign disturbance and, for whatever reason, this offender has had a frenzied attack against the officers in a very violent way,” he told Seven’s Sunrise.

Local publican Brad Johnstone said Mr Ferris was often seen around the town with his dog and “seemed to be a bit of a lost soul”.

“He spent a lot of time on his own with his dog – he was known around town to have a bit of confrontation with people at times,” he told Sunrise.

“But we never really had a problem with him. He was always up for a chat.”

SA Premier Peter Malinauskas on Wednesday said the incident “will be difficult news for the South Australian community to absorb”.

“Our frontline workers do an inherently difficult and dangerous job each day when they go to work,” he said.

“They exercise this duty with courage and bravery.”

Senior Constable Jen Cullinan said the impact of Wednesday’s incident had been felt across SA.

“People are coming up and thanking the police and going into police stations to thank them for their service,” she told ABC radio.

“At this time our thoughts are with Ian and Jordan and their family and friends.”

No South Australian police officer has been killed while on duty for more than 20 years.

– with AAP

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