Three killed in NSW axe attack

A woman and two children have been killed in an axe attack in Cowra in New South Wales and a manhunt is underway for the killer.

The Ambulance Service says the bodies of a woman and two children were discovered just after 2:00pm AEST after the service responded to reports that people had been attacked with an axe.

The attack apparently occurred at a house in Brougham St in the centre of Cowra, west of Sydney.

Police say the attacker may still be in the area and could be armed. But they fear the man could be heading towards Newcastle or the Blue Mountains and there has been an unconfirmed sighting in Lithgow.

Police have asked for help in finding a car seen leaving the area, but they have urged members of the public not to approach the car or its driver.

The car is a silver Toyota Avalon with New South Wales registration YSW 616.

The driver is a man in his 70s of white European appearance, about 157 centimetres tall, with thick wavy white hair combed to one side, a medium build, and pale blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a light-coloured shirt.

He is believed to be the grandfather of the children.

Fourth victim

Fiona Kruit from the NSW Ambulance Service says a fourth victim is being treated for serious head injuries.

“We’ve so far conveyed one person to Cowra Hospital in a serious condition,” she said.

“An ambulance helicopter is currently at Cowra Hospital to retrieve this person and will be conveying them probably to Orange Base Hospital.”

Media reports said the fourth victim was a female police officer who arrived at the house.

An ambulance spokeswoman could not confirm the age of any of the victims or the sex of the children.

Other reports said another child in the family was safe.

Police presence

Michael Camps, who owns a business in Brougham Street, says the area around the house is swarming with police wearing bullet-proof vests.

“From what I could see when I did drive down the street, there’s a hell of a lot over the other side of Brougham Park, which is sort of away from me a bit,” he said.

“It’s on the other side of the block. [There’s a] rescue unit, ambulance and probably four or five other police cars.”

Detectives from the State Crime Command’s Homicide Squad and Canobolas Local Area Command are investigating the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

Police say the results of post mortems will be given to the coroner.



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