'Armed and dangerous' fugitive headed for QLD, police

NOON: NSW Police have wound down the manhunt on the Coffs Coast for wanted man David Bell, who pointed a shotgun at officers on Sunday. 

Speaking to the media, a short time ago, Coffs Clarence LAC Commander Superintendent Mark Holahan said there had be no confirmed sightings of the fugitive since his confrontation with police in the Macksville and Valla areas on Sunday morning.

Detectives believe Bell may have even possibly left the area on his way to Queensland. 

The van he  was driving has been seized by police and is being forensically examined. 

A day of extensive ground and air searches and road blocks failed to locate the offender, who is wanted on interstate arrest warrants. 

"We are expecting that he has now left the area, but we'll continue to hunt him, we are continuing vehicle patrols through that area ... but I'd say he's made his way to a location that is safe for him," Supt. Holahan said. 

"Queensland police have an active interest in his fellow he is wanted up there on a number of warrants and we are liaising closely with police in an attempt to identify where he is and bring him to justice in both states. 

"He has probably left this area now and moved on, but as I said we have had no reported sightings of him in the are since we wound down the search yesterday. 

Anyone who sights a man matching Bell's description is urged to call 000. 

MONDAY 10AM: Coffs Clarence police will give an update on the operation to find wanted man David Bell this afternoon. 

The manhunt continued this morning in bushland around Valla.

An extensive ground and air search has been undertaken to try and find the 37-year-old who is wanted on interstate warrants.

Police say Bell pointed a shotgun at officers who stopped him for a random breath test on Sunday. 

More details will be released around noon. 

 

SUNDAY 5.45PM: Police have suspended a search operation for a man who pointed a shotgun at police this morning.

The operation was suspended at about 4pm.

David Bell has been identified as a man police want to speak to in relation to a pursuit from North Macksville to Valla.
David Bell has been identified as a man police want to speak to in relation to a pursuit from North Macksville to Valla. NSW Police

Police Media has revealed the white van involved in a police pursuit in the Valla area this morning was located abandoned in bushland about 11am and has been secured for forensic analysis.

Police have identified a 37 year-old man, David Bell, as a man they would like to speak to.

Bell may be armed and is also wanted on interstate warrants.

He's described as being about 175-185cm tall with a solid build, of Caucasian appearance with brown hair and has tattoos on his fingers. He was last seen wearing a black top.

The white Toyota Hiace van left the scene of a random breath test at North Macksville and a police pursuit was initiated.

The van was followed up a dirt road near Valla, and a road block was established.

A short time later, the van approached the road block and the shotgun was again produced and aimed at police.

The man was then seen driving into bushland.

A perimeter was established by officers from Mid North Coast and Coffs/Clarence Local Area Commands with assistance from PolAir and Traffic & Highway Patrol Command units.

4.30PM: A VALLA couple are counting the cost of a gun wielding driver stopping at nothing to escape from police.

The peaceful Valla countryside was disrupted by the unusual sounds of police sirens blaring through the valley.

Sue Davis said what she heard next from her kitchen window was even more alarming.

"Then I heard an almighty bang and this white van came crashing through our electric gate," Mrs Davis said.

"Two police cars with all their lights and sirens on were chasing it, they sped right past my window and the van went up the hill and into the forest."

Mrs Davis' husband Tony wasn't home at the time as he was at the beach walking the dog and police stopped him from returning to the Ballards Rd property.

"They told me it was too dangerous," he said.

"My wife was inside the house with a gunman outside."

Mrs Davis was reunited with her husband at about 1pm when police escorted her from the home.

Police are still searching bushland in the Valla area for the man.

A roadblock has been set up by police near Valla as a search for a gun wielding driver continues. Photo: Frank Redward
A roadblock has been set up by police near Valla as a search for a gun wielding driver continues. Photo: Frank Redward Frank Redward

BREAKING - 11.30AM: A MAN inside a vehicle speeding away from police pointed a shotgun at officers during the pursuit, police say. 

Officers have now launched an operation to find the man and have warned the public not to approach him. 

"Police from Mid North Coast Highway Patrol had stopped a white Toyota Hiace van on the Pacific Hwy at North Macksville for a random breath test at about 7.50am," NSW Police said in a statement. 

When the driver left the scene, police started to pursue him and were then threatened with the gun. 

NSW Police said officers followed the van up a dirt road near Valla and made a road block. 

"A short time later, the van approached the road block and the shotgun was again produced and aimed at police. The man was then seen driving into bushland," the statement said. 

"A perimeter has now been established by officers from Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command, and additional resources are being brought to the scene to assist."

Police are searching for a man described as Caucasian appearance, about 183cm tall with short cropped hair.



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