Police shoot man dead

NEW UPDATE 4.15pm 02/05/11 Another Police Shooting updates on the way

Police at the scene of a shooting on the corner of Bangs and High Streets, Prahran

POLICE have shot a man in Prahran less than 24 hours after a fatal shooting in St Kilda.

Emergency services were called to the corner of Bangs and High St, Prahran, about 3.30pm.

The victim, believed to be in his 20s, has been taken to the Alfred Hospital with wounds to his abdomen.

A nearby man said he heard the man groaning as he was loaded into an ambulance.

“I knew it was more than a kick to the leg or capsicum spray,’’ the man said.

“The police were really edgy. They were pretty vocal. They were just trying to cordon off the area.

“You could tell something serious had gone down there.’’

The man said a nearby woman broke down when the injured man came out on the stretcher.

UPDATE 11.12am: CHIEF Commissioner Simon Overland has backed the officers who shot dead a knife-wielding man in St Kilda last night.

The knife wielding man was fatally shot by police in St Kilda

A botched drug deal is believed to have led to the fatal police shooting late last night.

Police believe the 30-year-old man from Geelong was involved in a stabbing at a nearby hotel earlier in the evening.

Officers were called to the Gatwick Hotel in St Kilda about 7.30pm after a woman was stabbed in the back, allegedly by two men.

Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said the constables spotted two men matching the description of the attackers as they drove from the hotel about 10pm.

He said the police officers got out of their car and told the men to stop, but one of the men advanced towards them with a knife.

The officers said the man ignored repeated calls to drop the knife and was shot when he lunged at them.

The man was shot on Grey St, just 100 metres from a busy strip of restaurants and pubs on Fitzroy St in St Kilda.

Mr Overland backed the actions of the officers involved.

“I understand my police officers were quite properly going about their job,” he said.

“They’ve seen a couple of people they thought might be suspects in an earlier, quite serious offence in the area, they’ve approached them as they quite properly should, they were confronted and in fact approached by a man with a knife who resisted all calls for him to drop the knife and to desist.

“He didn’t do that, and under the circumstances they took what I believe was entirely appropriate action.’’

Mr Overland said the officers were not equipped with tasers and that they were unlikely to have assisted.

“As the facts have been related to me, I don’t see tasers were a good option, or would have been a good option under the circumstances as they presented,’’ he said.

“We do obviously try and do everything we can from a training and management point of view to avoid police shootings.

“They are always regrettable when they happen but in the circumstances, as made known to me, I believe my officers behaved entirely appropriately as I would expect them to behave and unfortunately they had little alternative to do other than that which they did.’’

Mr Overland dismissed speculation the dead man had been shot by police in the head.

Witnesses told the Herald Sun they heard police yelling at the man “several times” before they fired a shot. There was a pause of several seconds and two more shots followed.

Police cars were on the scene minutes later.

Paramedics said the man was dead when they arrived.

Grey St resident Michael said he heard yelling and shouting before three shots were fired.

“The guy that was on the path, we couldn’t see him because of a tree, he sounded like he was being restrained by the police,” he said.

“He was very irate. I made out him saying, ‘You just shot my best friend in the face’. About 10 or 15 minutes later he said, ‘Every dog has his day’.”

Port Phillip Mayor Rachel Powning refused to say if the council had any concerns about the Gatwick Hotel.

“This is a tragic event, but is a matter for the police,” she said in a statement.

“An investigation is underway and it would be inappropriate to comment.”

One St Kilda local was asleep when she heard a commotion.

She said she heard a person threatening to shoot.

“They basically said, ‘Stand still, if you move I will shoot, if you move I will shoot,’ and there were two shots,” said the woman, who didn’t want to be named.

The woman said she didn’t know how long it was between the comments being made and the shots being fired.

“It was all very close, the situation was all very close.”

The woman said police need to increase their presence in the area so they could respond to incidents.

Another woman said she came out of her house on Grey St after she heard three shots fired.

“There was a guy lying on the (ground) with blood coming out of his head,” the woman said.

Grey St resident Justin Moyle said he was alerted to the drama when he heard a loud noise.

“We heard someone yelling, ‘Don’t f—ing move’ – that was the cop – and then at least one gun shot. I don’t know if there was any more,” Mr Moyle said.

“We came down and the guy was lying on the road.

“One of my neighbours was saying she saw part of his head on the road …”

Sally said she was putting her son in bed when she heard three shots.

“I thought,’No it’s not. Is it?’ and it was. It was gunshots,” she said.

“I called 000 immediately and I could see the red and blue lights of the police already there.

Sally said there was a lot of yelling “before, during and after” the shots were fired.

“The whole feeling was really scary,” she said.

Mr Cornelius said initial evidence supported the decision of the two uniform members from the local station to fire on the man.

“It’s pretty clear my officers found themselves in a position where they had no choice but to discharge their firearms in order to prevent themselves from either being seriously injured or killed.”

“No police officer wants to go to work and kill someone.

“I’ve spoken to the members they are very upset and very concerned.”

When asked if the officers were carrying Tasers, Mr Cornelius said only that: “They had the full range of operational safety equipment available to them.”

He would not reveal details of whether capsicum spray had been used or how many shots were fired, but said several officers were at the scene at the time of the shooting.

Police also arrested a 22-year-old man and two women, aged 22 and 26, in connection with the earlier stabbing.

The two women were released this morning pending further inquiries.

Nearby residents, who were denied access to their homes after police cordoned off the area, said they were shocked to learn of the incident.

Police Association boss Greg Davies said his priority was the welfare of the officers.

He said the union had a full-time welfare officer, and funded the force’s employee assistance program.

“It’s a dreadful situation for everyone involved. Police shootings always are,” Sen-Sgt Davies said.

“These things develop in a split second and are almost never a situation which is the making of the police. The police are called there to resolve something, things flare up and unfortunately this sort of result sometimes occurs.

“The Association has put into place what it normally does and will confine to do.”

A woman was stabbed at the Gatwick Hotel before the shooting

A woman in her 40s was taken to The Alfred hospital from the hotel just after 7.30pm suffering stab wounds to her upper body.

She was in a stable condition last night.

Homicide detectives and Ethical Standards officers will investigate the shooting.

The Gatwick Hotel is a homeless hostel in St Kilda, where people often live while more permanent government housing is being arranged.

St Kilda residents have also started a Facebook campaign to get rid of the hotel, which many say is a crime hub.

While police are regularly called to the Gatwick to settle disputes, two men have been murdered there in the last six years.

Homeless man Simon Gurfinkel was beaten to death in his bed at the rooming house in 2005.

Father-of-four Arthur Karatasios died in hospital in 2006 after he was repeatedly stabbed by four men out the front of the Gatwick Hotel.

Recent police shootings in Victoria

  • December 2008 – Police shot dead 15-year-old Tyler Cassidy after he allegedly advanced on them with knives during a stand-off at a Northcote skate park
  • April 2005 – Mohamed Chaouk, 29, was shot dead by police after he allegedly lunged at them with a sword during a dawn raid on his Brooklyn home
  • February 2005 – Special Operations Group police shot dead murder suspect Wayne Joannou, 26, of Sydenham, after intercepting a car in South Melbourne
  • October 2004 – Jason Chapman, allegedly brandishing a knife, was shot by police after capsicum spray failed to subdue him at Yarraville
  • May 2004 – Gregory Biggs, 27, was shot by police after he raised swords at a police officer on Lygon St
  • February 2004 – Peter Hubbard, 48, was shot dead by police who said he was brandishing a weapon at them at his home in Ballarat

One dead, one injured in police shootout

One man has paid the ultimate price for attempting to rob and old watering hole of mine actually, The High Flyer Hotel. Little did he know the cops were tagging the gang as part of a wider operation and a shootout took place on exiting the pub…more to come

Condell Park shooting

Police and ambulance crews attend the scene of last night’s fatal shooting in Sydney’s west.

  • Men storm hotel, demand cash from staff
  • Police shoot man, who charged at them
  • Officers faced with “life-threatening situation”

POLICE shot dead a man and injured a second as they fled a Sydney hotel last night after an alleged hold-up.

Wearing balaclavas and armed with a 50cm long machete, the two alleged robbers stormed the High Flyer Hotel in Bankstown about 8.30pm and demanded cash from staff.

But five officers from the robbery and serious crime squad who were apparently investigating the group were waiting for them outside.

The police were not carrying non-lethal weapons such as capsicum spray or Tasers

A machete-wielding man allegedly ran at one of the officers who shot him in the chest. He died at the scene.

A second man was taken to Liverpool Hospital in a serious but stable condition with gunshot wounds to his upper body.



Acting Assistant Commissioner Geoff Beresford said earlier investigations by police led them to the Birch St hotel and that police fired five times to defend themselves in the “life-threatening situation”.

Police are hunting a third man who sped off in a black Toyota Yaris immediately after the confrontation.

A witness who was inside the hotel at the time told Fairfax Media, “All of a sudden there was yelling and screaming going on, and all the women that were sitting at the table … [were] all upset and said, ‘The place is being robbed, the place is being robbed’”.

Tyler Cassidy Inquest-Cops secretly film grieving family

I have been following this inquest and Its a hard one to take sides on cops v troubled lad Tyler, as he was shot dead threatening them with a knife, but this little piece astounds me, they have a meeting with the family 2 days after their kid has been shot dead, with the cops asking for trust etc and the cops are secretly taping them and the conversation! Can you believe it…Not a crime but worthy of mentioning this is how they operate.Covering their asses so they say???

Tyler Cassidy's family surround his mum ,Shani, at Tyler's funeral

DETECTIVES urged the family of a Melbourne teenager shot dead by police to “trust us” as they covertly recorded a conversation with them, an inquest has heard.

Two days after Tyler Cassidy, 15, was shot dead by police in December 2008, detectives wore a digital recording device when they went to the home of his grieving mother, the Coroner’s Court was told.

During the conversation, Det-Sgt Allan Birch told the family “I think you will trust us with time,” as he explained the investigation process.

The family was also told the investigation would be professional and conducted “without any fear or favour”.
State Coroner Jennifer Coate was not told of the secret recordings until August this year, the court heard.

Tyler was shot dead after confronting police while armed with two knives at a skate park in Northcote on December 11, 2008.

Related Coverage

Other homicide squad detectives yesterday defended the covert recording.

Det Acting Sgt David Barry, who was with Det-Sgt Birch during the conversation, said it was done for the benefit of both police and the family.

“Based on the previous communications between Victoria Police and the Cassidy family, it was clear there were some problems. It seemed a sensible idea in these circumstances to record what was being said,” he said.

He admitted it was the first time he had covertly recorded a victim’s family, and he had not done so since.

Det Acting Sgt Nigel L’Estrange told the court he also covertly recorded the Cassidy family in January 2009. He said there had been issues with the family who were “understandably angry and hostile towards police”.

Det-Sgt L’Estrange said that if police had alerted the family to the fact that they were being recorded, they would have been “on edge” and felt they were being treated like suspects.

“I was quite comfortable with doing it in a covert manner,” he said. “It is something I had done on previous occasions as well.”

The secret recordings were revealed after a complaint was made about the information sharing process with the family, the court heard.

The inquest also heard the four police involved in the 9.30pm confrontation with Tyler were not drug and alcohol tested until about 6am the next day.

Det-Sgt L’Estrange said there was confusion in Victoria Police and other forensic testing organisations as to whose job it was to conduct the test.

Cop shot police officer Bill Crews UPDATED

As tragic as this story is, I knew on the day that this is what must of happened by the police reaction and lack of charges, a real sad way to go and tough for the other officer involved, but what a remarkable family Bill Crews has.They showed up at the wake to support him and others who were at the scene, and told them the family did not hold them responsible for his death

A post mortem has confirmed the police department’s worst fears.

It was one of his colleagues who accidentally killed Constable Bill Crews in a shootout in an underground car park last Wednesday night.

It was Sergeant Dave Roberts, the senior officer leading the raid on the Bankstown apartment, who fired the fatal shot.

Police had gone to the Cairds Avenue home with a search warrant entitling them to search for drugs at the unit of Philip Nyugen.

However, Nyugen, who had taken what is believed to be the drug ice, was worried that rival dealers were after him and was already armed when police arrived.

When a group of officers went to the underground car park, Nyugen allegedly fired a shot which hit Constable Crews in the arm.

The 26-year-old trainee detective went down, clutching his arm. But as he regained his footing and stood up, Sergeant Roberts fired at Nyugen.

Tragically, his bullet struck his colleague in the head.

A police source said that Sergeant Roberts was inconsolable in the aftermath of the shootout in the underground car park.

“He had a hunch that it was his bullet which had killed Crews,” the source said.

The sergeant was so upset he had to be sedated the following day.

“He is shattered,” said a senior officer.

“I don’t know if he will ever get over this.”

His colleague said that Sergeant Roberts has an impeccable record and “is the best worker on the floor”.

The family of Constable William Crews said they did not blame a fellow police officer for his death

Now, the family of Constable William “Bill” Crews has demonstrated the same extraordinary bravery their son and brother possessed – publicly embracing the officer who fatally shot him.

Constable Crews’ family met the officer at a wake for the slain policeman on Sunday and assured him they did not blame him for the death.

“Bill was brave and resilient. He would want us to show the same courage as we deal with our personal tragedy and face a new day,” his brother Ben told The Daily Telegraph yesterday.

Today, police will announce the findings of their investigation into the fatal shooting of Constable Crews.

Although it was a bullet allegedly fired by charged man Philip Nguyen that struck him first in the arm, the officer was accidentally – and fatally – hit in the neck by a bullet fired by a police colleague

It is understood that, pending coronial findings, the initial investigation found the officer was not negligent due to the circumstances of the gunfight in narrow confines.

Constable Crews’ family has been informed of the outcome. They offered the policeman a public show of support at Constable Crews’ wake at Penrith Golf and Recreation Club on Sunday.

The police officer, who is said to be distraught over the events in the underground carpark of a Bankstown unit block last Wednesday night, also met privately with Constable Crews’ family.

Members of the Crews family made a statement in front of all those officers at the wake that demonstrated the special solidarity of the NSW Police family. Constable Crews’ policeman brother Ben, retired policeman father Kel, mother Sharon and sisters Rebecca and Kate embraced the officer.

Ben and Kel Crews then spoke about who they held responsible for the death.

“They stated the only person they hold to account in any way is the crook,” a guest said. “The family have been very gracious and accepting, and they’ve met everyone involved.

“The family have been showing unbelievable strength of character.”

With great pride, the Crews family yesterday told The Daily Telegraph Constable Crews made their lives so much richer.

“He has been a wonderful son and brother and of course a great friend and colleague to others,” his father said.

As the family bands together to prepare for Constable Crews’ funeral on Thursday, it was revealed yesterday his brother, a constable in south-west Sydney, is expected to join the Middle Eastern Organised Crime Squad, the team Constable Crews joined just weeks before his death.

The family yesterday thanked their friends, the police family, media and people across NSW who had “opened their hearts to us”.