Rodney Clavell had armed himself to "take police out", but in
the end, South Australia's most wanted man shot himself dead
in a brothel after a 13-hour siege that locked down much of
Four distraught women had earlier emerged from the first
floor of the King William Street building where Clavell had
holed himself up from around 1am on Thursday.
The 46-year-old former prison guard had been on the run for
more than a fortnight when police surrounded Marilyn's Studio
and spent the next 13 hours calling for Clavell to give
himself up and end the siege peacefully, saying they were
there for the long haul.
After the last of the four women was released at around
11.30am, police heard no word from Clavell, so sent in a
robot which located his body on the first floor.
Officers then entered the building and found Clavell at
SA's Assistant Commissioner Paul Dickson said police believe
Clavell shot himself with a gun that was found at the scene.
One of the distressed women said "I heard it" as she was
being helped away from the building by police.
Mr Dickson said it was believed Clavell was alive when the
women were released and, while he said police were unsure
whether he knew the hostages, he suggested the fugitive was
familiar with the brothel.
"The four females who were in that premises had a fairly
harrowing experience, especially since one o'clock this
morning and probably on previous occasions," he said.
"I believe he probably had some belief that he was relatively
safe at those premises."
Four blocks south of Victoria Square were closed to trams,
buses, cars and pedestrians, causing traffic disruptions and
the closure of many businesses as heavily-armed police
swarmed the area, while negotiators tried to contact Clavell.
"Since this incident occurred at one o'clock this morning we
have had no direct communication with Mr Clavell," Mr Dickson
"All our communication with Mr Clavell has been through a
On May 20, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Clavell,
who had a long criminal history, over firearm matters.
Police warned he was dangerous and armed.
On Thursday, Mr Dickson revealed that Clavell also was wanted
for other matters including the assault of a woman at
gunpoint on May 25.
"Police had wanted a peaceful end to the siege, for the women
that were inside the building, the community and for
Clavell," Mr Dickson said.
"Our role in society is to look after the community and try
and resolve things in a safe way.
"Mr Clavell was a member of our community and we treat him
the same way as we treat everybody else."
Since the warrant was issued, police raided more than 80
premises and two schools were placed in lockdown for a short
time when Clavell was spotted nearby.
Police would not comment on a report that a friend of
Clavell's had said the fugitive had threatened to take police
The unnamed woman told the Adelaide Advertiser that she
dropped Clavell off at the brothel and he was in possession
of a .22 rifle and "at least 40 bullets".
"He thinks they have it in for him, he will take police out,"
"He knows he won't survive this alive today."
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