A Victorian sergeant who witnessed a fatal police shooting says the constables involved acted appropriately in approaching the victim and could not have waited for back-up.
Police investigating a Melbourne stabbing recognised Craig Douglas, 31, from CCTV footage but he pulled out a knife when they approached him, according to facts read to an inquest.
Douglas advanced on the officers, who fatally shot him, the Victorian Coroner's Court heard.
Witness Sergeant David Eadie said Douglas and his companion were known to have a knife and a shotgun when police approached them on Grey Street in St Kilda in May 2011.
Asked by Douglas family counsel Jane Dixon SC if a more organised approach should have been taken to the confrontation, Sgt Eadie said "not in the circumstances that were presented".
A critical incident response team had been called and was on its way to the scene, the inquest heard on Tuesday.
However, Sgt Eadie said police didn't want the armed men on the loose in the precinct, which held hundreds of diners and a youth backpacker hostel.
"In these circumstances I don't think we could have waited for back-up," he told the inquest.
"Their propensity for violence was known. We knew they had a knife and a shotgun."
The confrontation occurred as police were returning to their station from the Gatwick Hotel where Douglas had stabbed a woman in the back and face before stealing cannabis from her hotel room.
The officers approached him after recognising him from the hotel's CCTV footage.
The court heard Constable Ryan Cross exited a police van and walked towards Douglas while Constable Jason O'Donnell turned the vehicle around and drove down to where Douglas and three others were.
As the police officers approached, Douglas pulled a kitchen-style knife from his pants and advanced towards them.
Both constables drew their guns and fired.
Sgt Eadie said the officers had the operational training and experience to assess the situation.
Ms Dixon said the inquest must consider whether improvements could be made to police systems.
The inquest continues.