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Man shot dead at Sydney police station after attack

Police are trying to piece together why a man randomly stabbed a cleaner in a frenzied attack at a Sydney train station, before bursting into a nearby police station, where he was fatally shot.

A strike-force team has been created and the NSW counter-terrorism unit has joined the investigation, but police say the man was acting alone and they are probing if mental health played a role.

Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith says police are "leaving no stone unturned in establishing the intent of this individual".

The deadly encounter happened just after midnight on Tuesday when a 32-year-old Indian man brandishing a knife threatened officers at Auburn Police Station in Sydney's west, after stabbing the rail worker.

The two violent events unfolded in the space of just five minutes, leaving the 28-year-old Auburn Station railway worker with stab wounds in the arm and hip.

Mr Smith says the pair did not know each other, and the unprovoked attack happened without warning.

"The cleaner was just going about his duties," he told reporters.

"He just happened to be the first person who was inside the turnstiles and was set upon without motive."

Minutes later, when the man charged at the two police officers, he was shot twice in the chest with a Glock service pistol as well as a Taser.

He was rushed to Westmead Hospital, where he was pronounced dead an hour later.

Mr Smith defended the police response, saying the officers had no option but to shoot the man to avoid being attacked.

"It would have been a stressful situation for the officers. They had no alternative but to respond," he said.

Mr Smith said the two officers were receiving counselling.

CCTV footage of the confrontation shows the man launching himself through the glass doors at the officers, who have seconds to react.

He is yet to be formally identified, but police say he came to Australia from India in 2019 on a student visa.

They say the man had previous interactions with police during the pandemic, when law enforcement knocked on doors to ensure western Sydney residents were complying with lockdown restrictions.

None of the interactions was related to criminal or mental health interventions.

Australia is a popular destination for Indian students to pursue tertiary education, with more than 60,000 living here before the pandemic.

The Indian Consulate and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have been approached for comment.

The train station cleaner remains in a stable condition in hospital.

The shooting comes a month after a 48-year-old man was shot dead after pointing a gun at officers at Tenterfield Police Station in the state's far north.