Pictures show how close shootout cops came to death
It's the shocking police photo that shows just how lucky a handful of Penrith police officers are to be alive.
The official pictures taken by police show the back of a van riddled with shrapnel holes from a shotgun blast. A second of the never-before-seen photos focuses on a tightly-packed hive of holes in the door of a police car.
The vehicles absorbed the brunt of the damage when an angry Daniel King opened fire outside the police station on Wednesday.
Speaking for the first time, Police Commissioner Michael Fuller said he felt immense pride for the officers who neutralised King, among them two junior officers barely out of the academy.
King, a 32-year-old body builder, had posted a series of menacing remarks on social media that evening before arming himself with a shotgun for a string of shootings. For an hour he travelled from Marayong to St Marys and then to Penrith where he was killed in a gunfight with officers on High St.
A critical incident investigation is continuing to explore his motive for the attack.
"You don't park the police car outside the police station expecting to be bailed up by an offender firing a shotgun towards you," Mr Fuller said of the officers who engaged King as they arrived in a paddy wagon.
"Then the bravery as they drag the offender inside the police station worried that there is another armed offender unaccounted for - not many people could do that, but these young officers are trained exceptionally well."
One constable was seriously injured during the attack and remains in hospital following several rounds of surgery to remove pellets from his skull. Efforts to extract the projectiles have been stalled due to fears for his safety, officials said.
Mr Fuller said he planned to visit the officer on Monday.
He will then visit Penrith police station on Tuesday to meet the other officers involved in the incident. At least six officers were said to be involved in the shootout.
One, a probationary constable, graduated from the police academy approximately six months ago; a second (currently in hospital) was confirmed last week, meaning he had satisfied his year-long probationary period.
It was that officer and a colleague who had been returning to the station from a coffee run about 9.35pm when King, hiding between two cars, opened fire.
Pellets from one round struck the constable in the back of the head as he and the colleague, still holding the takeaway coffee cups, ran inside the station. Never short on black humour, the rookie officer has since been praised for not dropping the coffee order as he ran.
"This was a life-threatening situation," said Kevin Morton, the acting president of the Police Association of NSW. "It required a brave response and we are grateful under these circumstances that no officers were killed."
The subsequent shootout began shortly after officers in a second police car, a paddy wagon, pulled up alongside King on the roadway outside the station. They were joined by officers from inside the station, all of whom fired more than a dozen shots at King to bring him to the ground.
Even as he was being struck by bullets, King managed to let off one final blast from his shotgun, footage of the incident shows, hitting the paddy wagon's door.
Investigations led by the Homicide Squad are continuing to explore how King obtained the weapon.
Police have already linked the gunfight to a spree of related shootings that targeted a home in Marayong and a police station in St Marys during the preceding hour.
Stacey Taylor, who lives at the Marayong address, said she was targeted by King because she is pregnant with his child and had been under pressure to abort the baby.
Another ex-lover, Claire Day, previously said on social media that King had spoken of "going out big".