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

7 thoughts on “Police shoot man dead

  1. I’m so glad I don’t live in Victoria. The cops there just seem trigger happy. It’s the only state where I’ve been dragged off the train in the middle of the night & had my luggage rummaged through by two large cops wearing dark trenchcoats who did not identify themselves when I asked. Very secret police-y and scary. Nor did they apologise when they found nothing. It was also in Victoria that I witnessed a cop shooting dead my friend’s (completely non-threatening) dog for getting out of the car when the door was open after we had been ordered out of the car. I don’t know what the cause is, but I know that Vic police have a long record of over the top reactions. In my personal experience as well as what I read in the paper.


  2. Police deserve more respect from the criminals and those who need to obey the law cos this “stupid politically” correctness is getting our police unable to do their jobs and most often put their life at risk. Tough Police action need to be in placed…human nature – if one’s life is threaten the 1st instinct to protect oneself. I’m happy for 1 less drug dealer on the street.


  3. No, Mrs Morris, we seriously disagree there. If you make the system harder, you make the crims harder. THAT is human nature. Look at the US if you don’t believe me. Or China (it was you who mentioned the behaviour of Chinese criminals in another thread, I believe). Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way advocating softening what we currently have, but if you think it’s ok for police officers who have been trained in & equipped with capsicum spray and tasers to shoot someone as their first line of action, then I hope you never obtain any sort of power to influence policy. In the cases I referred to above, nobody had done anything wrong. I was asleep on the train from melbourne to adelaide when I was hauled off by the pseudo-stormtroopers and in the case where the dog was shot right in front of me, I was in a car full of vegan peace freaks with coloured hair on our way to a friends place and then a music festival. We were pulled over & ordered out of the car and onto the ground, the dog got out too, the owner said “hang on, I’ll put her back


    • in the car.”, the cop shot her and said “No need”. We were terrified, angry & shocked, especially when, after half an hour of criminal checking and car searching, they basically told us to put all our stuff back in the car and go. Obviously we made a report but this was 20 years ago and we weren’t pandered to as “young people” are now, so our complaint went nowhere. This was my personal experience of over the top behaviour by police with no provocation other than the way we looked. So I refuse to believe that all people who are shot by police (especially in Victoria) deserve to be shot. Oh – just so you know: I have no criminal record whatsoever, so your assertions that criminals should respect police more is not aimed at me, I hope.

      Sorry about the split post. I use my phone and occasionally hit the wrong button =)


    • I live in Victoria and am terrified of police, children are frightened of police, the police are thugs, not interested in anything but driving offenses and running their off the side businesses. And with all their armament they are cowards, leaving the real policing to bouncers, while the tattooed cops are in the bars chatting up young girls.
      See the police or their cars in Victoria and everyone panics. I have seen 6 police kick and beat up a young 14 year old boy because he smashed a window. The local cops shot a man dead because he used a hammer on a westpac ATM. Australia has the second highest rate of rape in the world. I hate the police, the power they have. The coroner was informed that the Vic police had some involvement in Jayden Leskys death, ( a baby, murdered months after he was abducted). No one has explained the reason the pigs head was left in place of the baby when he was abducted. I think the message is very clear.
      Dear perplexed, the Victorian police are not a true reflection of Victorians, only the most cowardly, who need trungens, tazars, capsicum spray and guns to feel safe.
      Frightened Victorian


  4. Hi Perplexed,
    Of course Im not aim at you with that comment ;-). Im aiming at those idiots drag races at Sydney (Brighton Le Sands) and when being issued a ticket/ fined only laugh at the Police and the Police unable to do nothing.
    I do agree with you and respect your point of view and feel deeply sad with your friend whom had lost a dog via the unfortunate circumstance (which should be easily avoided). Yes few Policemen had no doubt had bullying their positioned of power (I had experienced few too) but there are few good ones as well.
    I just presummed nowdays the Police training is not enough and adequate for the young officer to go out into the real world. Presummably the support system (buddy system) team up a young officer with more senior officer on duty – leading by example is not there anymore due to lack of resources.


    • Mrs Morris,
      It is not just a few police, Victorian police are notorious for corruption, ask any NSW police and they will tell you. The Vic Police are nasty thugs, most of them, not just a few, MOST OF THEM.
      Vic police kill, men women and children, if trigger happy cops are frightened they are taught to shoot to KILL, not main, or disarm, but KILL people. We have assassins as police in Victoria.


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