National

Knife-wielding man shot dead by police after refusing to drop weapon

Knife-wielding man shot dead by police after refusing to drop weapon
A man was shot dead by police almost instantly after allegedly refusing to drop a knife and charging at officers in the Gippsland region of Victoria this morning.
A tense stand-off between the man and officers unfolded just before 9am at Princes Way in Drouin, following a police pursuit where the man allegedly drove a stolen silver Audi station wagon erratically through the Latrobe Valley.
Police allege the Latrobe Valley man, aged in his 30s, had earlier stolen the Audi from another man in Mirboo North at 7.40am, about 60 kilometres south-east of Drouin.
An aerial view of the scene at Drouin. (Nine)
Assistant Commissioner Glenn Weir said the offender threatened the man in a carpark with a knife, before making off with the luxury vehicle.
"An armed carjacking occurred in a carpark in Mirboo North where a male offender with an edged weapon confronted the driver of an Audi and took that car by force," he said.
"Certainly, a terrifying experience in a quiet part of South Gippsland early in the morning to be confronted by an offender armed with a knife and have your car taken."
The carjacker then sped through the Latrobe Valley, with a police chase occurring on the Princes Freeway, before ending several kilometres later in Drouin when the man crashed into a rail and parked cars on the side of the road.
The air ambulance at the scene. (Nine)
The man then jumped from the car and charged at the four police members, refusing to drop the knife, forcing a male officer to fire two gunshots.
"Police confronted the male who exited the car with an edged weapon, he refused demands to put the weapon down, advanced on police, two shots were fired and then the male was struck," Assistant Commissioner Weir said.
"It was fairly instantaneous."
Police rendered first aid, but the man died at the scene after suffering serious upper body injuries.
Assistant Commissioner Weir said the police officers involved were "extremely shaken" by the shooting.
"No one goes to work and thinks they are going to be placed in that position," he said.
"They will have plenty of support throughout the investigation."
A map of where the shooting occurred in Drouin. (Nine)
He said the officers had acted in accordance with their training to try and apprehend the offender.
"They've undertaken immediate action following a really serious criminal offence."
Eyewitness Brock, who was driving past at the time, told 3AW he saw the police chase come to a crashing end, before shots were fired.
The man said the offender smashed the Audi into a car.
He then allegedly got out of his car and charged at police with a "weapon of some sort".
"He proceeds to get out of his car … holding something in his hand, not sure exactly what it was, must be a weapon of some sort because police were yelling at him to drop it – he didn't drop it and yeah there were shots fired," he said.
"He was just erratic, he was running around. He didn't seem to be quite with it, he was agitated and aggressive."
The eyewitness said he heard two shots being fired at the man, who then dropped to the ground.
"(Police) gave him every opportunity to stop," Brock said.
Victoria Police said the investigation was "in its infancy" and Homicide Squad detectives would investigate the shooting.
The investigation will be overseen by the Professional Standards Command, as per standard protocol when a police firearm is discharged.
Anyone who witnessed the carjacking in Mirboo North or the events leading up to the shooting in Drouin is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.