Former Australian rugby player and Rugby World Cup winner Toutai Kefu and his family have been injured after being attacked in their home in Brisbane, Australia.
Brisbane’s Regional Crime and Intelligence Coordinator Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming confirmed in a press conference that Kefu and his family had been taken to hospital with serious injuries after a “burglary that has gone wrong.”
Fleming said Kefu was in surgery after suffering “very serious wounds to his abdomen.” According to Fleming, his initial condition was described as “critical but expected to survive.”
The Tongan rugby union team posted on its Facebook page that Kefu had come out of surgery and was in a “stable condition.”
Kefu’s wife suffered “very, very serious” lacerations to her arms, while his 21-year-old son suffered wounds to his arm and back and his 18-year-old daughter suffered cuts to her hand and arm, Fleming said.
According to Fleming, Kefu and his family were awoken by noises in their house and were threatened when the home invaders demanded that they hand over car keys.
Queensland Police say they were called to a “Buena Vista Avenue home at around 3 a.m. in relation to four people, a 47-year-old man, a 46-year-old woman, a 21-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman who were injured by three intruders who were allegedly attempting to steal their car.”
According to Fleming, neighbors were able to apprehend the invaders, one of which was armed with a knife.
The suspects allegedly had an axe, a knife and a machete.
Police say two other family members who were also in the home were unhurt.
“The wounds are significant and my understanding is that everyone is going to survive, but the trauma, no doubt, will live with this family forever,” said Fleming.
Police say they have charged a 15-year-old male with attempted murder following ongoing investigations into the alleged burglary and wounding in Coorparoo.
The 15-year-old has been charged with four counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault causing grievous bodily harm and one count each of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, breaking and entering, burglary and deprivation of liberty. He has been refused bail and will appear in Brisbane Children’s Court.
A second 15-year-old boy was taken into custody after presenting himself injured at a South Brisbane hospital, while a third is thought to have fled in a stolen vehicle.
“It is very uncommon to have violence to this extreme with injuries to this extreme, but we do know some young people are carrying knives and weapons,” Fleming said.
Kefu played 60 tests for the Australian international rugby team between 1997 and 2003, winning the Rugby World Cup in 1999. He began coaching Tonga’s national team in 2016.
“Our thoughts are with Toutai and his entire family right now,” Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos said. “It was shocking news to receive this morning. Toutai is a titan of our game – a warrior on the field and off it.
“To the Kefu family – the Australian Rugby community is here for you. We also want to extend that support to others affected as well. The Rugby family is a close-knit one and we always rally around each other when another is in need,” Marinos said.