Knifeman killed by cops in CBD shooting chaos
CHAOS erupted in Brisbane's city streets as police yesterday shot dead a knife-wielding man, who had attacked an innocent tourist moments before.
About 10am yesterday, police said a 24-year-old Queensland man approached a male and female tourist, both in their 20s, displaying what they described as "strange" and "odd" behaviour. Police said the man punched his 26-year-old male victim in the face, breaking his nose, before stabbing him in the back as he tried to flee.
An unnamed witness told The Courier-Mail he'd seen the knife-wielding man pacing up Mary St.
"I'd seen the man run up the street armed with a knife, before I saw another man run back down only a few moments later. He was bleeding from the head and his shirt was covered in blood," the witness said.
The victim, who had sheltered in a nearby hotel, was taken to hospital and treated for his facial injuries, with a single stitch in the stab wound in his back.
After the stabbing, the witness said the attacker ran about 50m from the scene where he threw the bloodied knife in a bin, and ran back towards where the stabbing took place, now armed with a second knife.
Within a matter of minutes Mary St was in lockdown as officers attempted to convince the man to drop his weapon.
After repeated verbal commands from police, the man lunged towards them with his knife and officers fired at the man, who was fatally wounded. He died at the scene, with the knife still in his hand, despite officers' attempts to revive him.
Caboolture man Adam Leishman said he heard a "rapid fire" of gunshots before he called triple-0.
"I was only about 15m from where the shooting was," Mr Leishman said.
"I heard yelling and then I heard rapid fire of 7-10 shots and I saw people running towards me.
"I just turned and ran. I immediately thought it was somebody that shouldn't have a gun."
Queensland Police Service Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming said he believed police were faced with a life-or-death situation when the decision was made to lethally shoot the man.
"It's my understanding that what police were confronted with today was a life-endangering situation to them, and I'm very pleased that they are alive, but it's tragic that a young man has died," he said.
"It will be alleged the male person has confronted police armed with a knife, and police have discharged their firearms. They have attempted to provide assistance to that man, but he has subsequently died."
Police investigations indicate the act was not an act of terrorism, he said.
"I don't have any information that confirms or makes this an active counter terrorism investigation," Supt Fleming said.
"For the sake of completeness and community safety, we will look at (if there) was someone else involved.
"But I want to stress that all the information to us at the moment (indicates this) person was acting alone, came into the city alone, did those actions alone."
On a one year visa to Australia, British woman Ellen Rushmore said she'd heard the shooting before rushing to the balcony to see what had happened.
"We saw the police, the policeman still had his gun out," she said.
"Straight after the shots, they started doing CPR … he obviously posed a massive threat because they just don't shoot unless it's really dangerous. It must have been really hard for the police.
"It was just a mad rush, complete panic. Everyone just looked really stressed. (Police) were definitely in shock. They seemed pretty shaken."
The alleged police shooting remains under investigation by the Ethical Standards Command, Crime and Corruption Commission and the coroner, as is protocol in all lethal police shootings.