"On 3rd August 1999, at about 10:45 am, there was a shooting incident on the Stuart Highway at the corner of Old Bynoe Road in the Darwin rural district. In the course of the incident, two persons were shot dead. One, Glen Anthony Huitson, was a Sergeant of police on duty at the time he was killed." (Coroner's Findings)
Glen was performing duties on a roadblock with his partner in Livingstone at the Old Bynoe Road Turn off on the Stuart Highway, 55 Kilometres south of Darwin. They were stopping traffic entering the police cordon following a shooting incident the previous evening when the offender Rodney Ansell ambushed the roadblock shooting Huitson fataly and wounding a civilian in the back with his 30/30 rifle. For this incident he received the Australia Bravery Medal and a bar to his Valour Medal posthumously.
On the night of the 2nd of August 1999 Rodney William Ansell and Cherrie Ann Hewson went to a property on Kentish Road. Ansell fired 6 shots at a caravan occupied by Stephen Robertson and Lee-Anne Musgrave who were minding the property. A neighbour, David Hobden, drove his truck over to see what was happening and Ansell fired through the windscreen blinding him. He ran to his residence and another occupant, Brian Williams, ran over to stop Ansell who was trying to steal Hobden’s truck. Ansell shot Williams in the hand. He lost an index finger and shots were fired at his house. Ansell appeared to be yelling about child abduction which was a delusion that had manifested itself during his amphetamine addiction. He fled into scrubland with a 30/30 rifle and Hobden’s shotgun.
Police responded and set up a forward command post in the area. Roadblocks were set up on the Stuart Highway and other roads. Sergeant Glen Huitson and Senior Constable James O’Brien manned the roadblock on the corner of Old Bynoe Road and the Stuart Highway armed with their Glock Pistols a shotgun and a .308 rifle. It appears that during the night Ansell had escaped the cordon but for some reason chose to sneak up on the roadblock at Old Bynoe Road. Hewson had left the area. At about 10.45 am on the 3rd of August 1999 the roadblock at Old Bynoe Road was still in place. A local man had approached the road block to talk to the police members and was leaning on the police vehicle when suddenly he was shot in the pelvis from behind a large water pipe in nearby scrub. Huitson used the shotgun from the police car and O’Brien returned fire with his Glock pistol. Huitson was hit by a 30/30 round and fell to the ground. O’Brien reloaded the shotgun and returned fire. He called on Ansell to put his weapons down but he called back “Your all dead”. In response to the gun battle two Territory Response Group vehicles raced to the scene. Just prior to the roadblock the first vehicle swerved and braked and was struck by the second vehicle causing it to roll over. As police exited both vehicles and began to take up positions Ansell got up on one knee to position himself to fire at the arriving police members. This left him exposed to fire from O’Brien and the shotgun fire finally stopped him. As the Coroner, Mr Wallace, said “There is little doubt his (O’Brien’s) bravery prevented further loss of life”. It was later determined that there were seven entry wounds on his body from return fire from Huitson and O’Brien and numerous grazes. His covered position behind the water pipe and a small tree had protected Ansell from more serious injury until he was forced to change position.
Background - Glen Huitson
Glen Huitson joined the Northern Territory Police in January 1987, served in both Southern and Northern districts and was stationed at Adelaide River Police Station. He received a Commendation from the Commissioner of Police on 17 March 1994 when he attended a disturbance at a Community near Alice Springs. He disarmed a drunken person who was armed with a knife, star picket and was threatening another person with a billy of boiling water. In February of 1999 in Litchfield Park Glen Huitson disarmed an armed man who was threatening the driver and passengers of a bus. He received a Valour Award over this incident. Glen was survived by his wife Lisa and young children Joseph (2) and Ruby (6 months).