A man has been shot dead by police after they were called to a Melbourne park this afternoon following reports a woman was being assaulted in a “frenzied attack”.
Officers responded to the incident in John Coutts Reserve at Gladstone Park, in the city’s north, about 3.30pm.
Police said when they arrived, members “discharged their firearm resulting in the death of a male”, aged in his 30s.
The woman was taken to hospital in a critical condition, Victoria Police said. The man was known to police and had recent contact with officers, however did not have a criminal record.
Assistant Commissioner Luke Cornelius said Thursday evening the man and woman knew each other, and the circumstances surrounding the altercation would be subject to an investigation.
Mr Cornelius said while the police officers - both junior members - who discharged their firearms were not injured, they were “terribly shaken up”.
“No member goes to work expecting to have to take the life of another person and that is a very difficult and, thankfully, a decision that does not happen too often,” he said.
“But when a police officer does make that decision, of course it has a terrible impact on that member and also, of course, generates significant concern for the wider community.”
He said the officers “did exactly what was expected of them” and encouraged the public to spare a thought for them.
“It's apparent to me based on what I've been briefed on this afternoon that our members have done exactly what we expect of them and exactly what our community would expect of them in these circumstances.”
'A lot can happen in 30 seconds'
Within 30 seconds of arriving at the scene shots had been fired, Mr Cornelius said.
“A lot happens in 30 seconds. Including time to issue a warning, time to give a person an opportunity to accede to that warning and do what they're being asked,” he said.
“Of course, if those warnings aren't complied with, and they continue, in attacking another individual, then of course police have to take action and that's what happened in this case.”
Mr Cornelius said it was not yet known what, if any, weapon was being used by the man against the woman, but “stabbing motions were described to us”.
He added that due to the extent of the injuries she suffered, police had been unable to confirm her identity. He also said the man and woman “may” be family members.
Nine News reported the deceased man was stabbing the woman in the face repeatedly before he was shot.
Up to four shots were heard by people living in the surrounding area, ABC News reported.
“I just saw a police car, we were out here in the garden. I saw a police car down there with the lights flashing. I saw two policemen run down to the reserve and then I heard four gunshots and multitudes of police cars came,” one local told the network.
Footage from the scene showed a huge police presence and a large area taped off.
Homicide Squad detectives will investigate the incident which will be over-sighted by Professional Standards Command, as per protocol when a police firearm is discharged
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
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