A police raid at a kindergarten this morning has led to several deaths and multiple arrests.
Police and Armed Offender units raided the Meriwether Community Kindergarten just after morning tea, but the raid turned violent when some of the children put up a fight.
Authorities raided the heavily fortified compound following a report that a toddler was refusing to go to the naughty-corner and was behaving aggressively towards kindergarten staff.
Police spokesperson Detective Inspector Steve Fink said police had been forced to present their weapons when some of the children began to cry and refused to put down their toys.
Officers opened fire when a toddler charged at police holding what appeared to be a tub of paste.
“Police had only a few seconds to assess the risk,” said Mr Fink. “They were concerned that the paste substance might be some sort of chemical weapon, so they were left with no choice but to shoot.
“When this action failed to calm the situation in the compound, police were left with no choice but to neutralise the other persons present.”
Initial reports that up to 22 people were killed have since been corrected, with the death toll believed to stand at only eleven children and three teachers.
The raid was part of a wider operation by law enforcement officials around the world against the Kindergarten Conspiracy. Police were accompanied on the raid by liaison personnel from the FBI, after an earlier tip-off that massive and systematic copyright violations were taking place at the centre.
Police say the raid had been planned for next Monday to coincide with Little Johnny’s birthday. However, Little Johnny’s tantrum this morning forced authorities to launch the assault earlier.
Mr Fink confirmed that police found an assortment of weapons, drugs and other items of interest during the assault on the compound.
“We found large quantities of Pamol in a locked cupboard in a back room, and we also located asthma drug paraphernalia in the kindergarten bag of one of the suspects.
“We also unearthed a cache of knives and guns. This weapons stash included numerous plastic playdough knives and a staple gun.
“A playdough knife can be extremely dangerous, particularly if it is being used as a flotation device on the high seas instead of a lifejacket. If these knives had found themselves on the black market we could have seen a major spike in playdough-related drownings.”
Mr Fink also confirmed that pirated material had been found at the site, including a number of crudely drawn crayon pictures of well-known cartoon characters, and a painting of a cat that looked suspiciously like Garfield.
Mr Fink said there had been a number of problems at the Community Kindergarten since its opening in 2006. These included tantrums, the pulling of hair, and numerous toileting issues.
“It was a volatile situation, where officers were being asked to enter a very challenging environment, where literally anything could have happened,” said Detective Inspector Fink.
Some witnesses have claimed that the actions of police were brutal and unnecessary, but Association of Police Officers President Craig O’Donnell has congratulated the police for their professionalism in difficult circumstances.
“The reports I’ve heard suggest that there was a real threat to the officers involved,” said Mr O’Donnell.
“Of course any loss of life is regrettable, but there will be a full and proper internal review conducted by police on themselves, during which any issues can be sorted out.
Mr O’Donnell dismissed eyewitness claims that police had brutally massacred a room full of children.
“Now, sure, with the benefit of hindsight and following a full review it might turn out that some other form of intervention would have been more appropriate than gunning down all those children. But officers have to make decisions in an instant. They are human and they get it wrong sometimes.
“But I’m absolutely confident the review will establish that, based on the facts known to officers at the time, the decision to shoot first was a reasonable one.”
“The public can be confident there is no tougher critic of police conduct than the police. Apart from the courts. And a bunch of other people and organisations for whom I have such contempt that I will not speak their names.”