A man has been fatally shot on one of Melbourne's busiest freeways in a standoff with police.
Victoria police say the man, 53, was shot by police and died at the scene after brandishing a knife and advancing on officers.
Aerial footage from the Monash Freeway shows what appears to be a body on the road and multiple police vehicles and paramedics present, with a section of the freeway taped off.
The Narre Warren man had pulled over in the emergency lane at Dandenong North.
“Police were called to the on-ramp of the Monash Freeway, at the Eastlink interchange, following initial reports that a man was armed about 9.30am,” a police statement read.
‘Tragic and sad event’
Southern Metropolitan Region Assistant Commissioner Bob Hill called the incident a “tragic and sad event”.
He said the “agitated” man was shot in the chest by an officer after attempts to “calm the male down” failed and it appeared two shots were fired.
“The male has produced a knife and advanced on the police members. It was during that encounter that, firstly, our police attempted a tactical withdrawal,” Assistant Commissioner Hill said.
“At that point in time, the male continued the advance. There was then a non-lethal force used upon the male to stop him advancing. That was unsuccessful.”
He said the man was “quite distressed” and could describe the incident as a “mental health episode”.
“We are still trying to understand why, what’s motivated, what’s triggered this situation.”
He ruled out the incident being terror-related.
The Department of Transport is urging motorists to exit the freeway as soon as they can.
"The scene is under the control of Victoria Police. The Monash Freeway will open as soon as it is safe to do so," the department said in a statement.
All city-bound lanes of the Monash Freeway were closed at Heatherton Road near Eastlink on Thursday morning.
Mt Eliza man Ben told ABC radio he witnessed a "stand-off" between police and a man.
"They've shut down the Monash Freeway going inbound and they had guns drawn on the assailant," he said.
"I don't know if it was a pursuit and they've pulled him up over there, or why he was in that position."
Homicide squad detectives will investigate the incident, which will be overseen by Professional Standards Command, as per protocol when a police firearm is discharged.
The incident was captured on bodycam footage as well as VicRoads cameras while being witnessed by other drivers, Assistant Commissioner Hill said.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said there was no ongoing threat to the community.
Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.